Environmental Exemptions Sought For High-Speed Rail Construction

SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) – California’s high-speed rail chief has said he’s seeking environmental exemptions on the first 130-mile leg of the bullet train in the San Joaquin Valley.

California High-Speed Rail Authority chairman Dan Richard said during a Tuesday state Senate hearing that the exemption would avoid any legal delays caused by an injunction, a possibility as agriculture interests gear up for a court fight.

Richard had previously insisted the authority would not seek an outright exemption from state or federal environmental laws.

Richard stated at the hearing that if the project ends up in a lawsuit he would hope the matter would involve mitigations rather than an injunction.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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