On the eve of target date to commence construction, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (the “Authority”) managed to settle the remaining environmental lawsuit that jeopardized the construction of the initial segment of the High-Speed Rail project.  On April 18, 2013, the Madera County Farm Bureau, Merced County Farm Bureau, Chowchilla Water District, Preserve Our Heritage, certain individual farmers, and the Authority reached a settlement agreement to resolve their lawsuit challenging the Authority’s approval of environmental impact reports for a section of the High-Speed Rail project that will bysect farmland in Madera and Merced counties. 

The settlement agreement requires the Authority to create a $4 million agricultural land mitigation fund to protect farmland and to allow local farm groups to collaborate with the Authority for agricultural mitigation.  The resolution of this suit along with three other environmental suits settled earlier this year will allow the Authority to finally move forward with construction on the first segment of the $86 billion project.  

See the Authority’s press release for more details.

Co-authored by Michael N. Mills and Juliet H. Cho.