CHSRA Releases Draft Environmental Document for LA Project

Written by Andrew Corselli, Managing Editor
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A CHSRA train. Photo via LinkedIn.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) is releasing the first Draft Environmental Document for a significant project section into Los Angeles County. The document, which covers the approximately 80-mile stretch of the project from Bakersfield to Palmdale, will be open for public comment starting on Friday, Feb. 28.

The Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section aims to provide a connection from the Central Valley to the Antelope Valley and Los Angeles County, closing the existing passenger rail gap between Northern and Southern California through the Tehachapi Mountains, as well as providing new opportunities for economic development and revitalization in the cities along this corridor.

The project section will travel through or near the communities of Bakersfield, Edison, Tehachapi, Rosamond, Lancaster and Palmdale with stations in Bakersfield and Palmdale.

With the release of this Bakersfield to Palmdale Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS), the Authority remains on track to complete environmental clearance for the full Phase 1 system by the federally mandated 2022 deadline. From Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 through Friday, April 13, 2020, the Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section Draft EIR/EIS is available for a 45-day CEQA and NEPA review and public comment period.

In conjunction with the public review period for the document, the Authority will hold a public hearing to take public comment. Comments received regarding environmental issues will be reviewed and responded to as required by law. The final EIR/EIS document for Bakersfield to Palmdale will be issued in 2021.

The public hearing is scheduled for April 9, 2020 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park in Lancaster, Calif. Public meetings are scheduled for March 4, 2020, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Jane Reynolds Park Activity Center in Lancaster, Calif.; March 5, 2020 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Edison Middle School Gym in Bakersfield, Calif.; and March 26, 2020 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Rosamond Public Library in Rosamond, Calif.

There are several ways to submit a comment regarding the Draft EIR/EIS for the Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section, including:

  • At one of the four meetings detailed above.
  • Online via the Authority’s website (http://www.hsr.ca.gov).
  • Via email at [email protected] with the subject line “Bakersfield to Palmdale Draft Supplemental EIR/EIS Comment”.
  • Via mail at the address below:

Attn: Bakersfield to Palmdale: Draft EIR/EIS
California High-Speed Rail Authority
770 L Street, Suite 620 MS-1
Sacramento, CA 95814

After the comment period closes on April 13, 2020 and the comments received have been evaluated, staff will prepare and issue the Final EIR/EIS document and present it to the Board to consider certification and project approval under CEQA and NEPA.

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