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.

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

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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.

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