California’s high-speed train project is likely to continue to be buffeted by environmental challenges as a result of a decision by the state’s top court.
In a 6-1 ruling last week written by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the California Supreme Court decided that federal rail law does not usurp California’s tough environmental regulation for state-owned rail projects.
It clears the way for opponents of the $64-billion bullet train to file more lawsuits as construction proceeds and also allows Californians to challenge other rail uses, such as the movement of crude oil from fracking.
A federal court could later decide the matter differently, ruling that U.S. law trumps state regulation.
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