California High-Speed Rail Update

Environmental Report for Fresno to Bakersfield Project Section
Lengthens Public Comment Period Beyond Required 45 Days

July 16, 2012 Contact: Lisa Marie Burcar
916-384-9026 (w)
916-212-8108 (c)

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) today released a Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR)/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the 114-mile Fresno to Bakersfield Project section. This document provides alternatives for public consideration and comment; no decisions have yet been made on these proposals. In its continued efforts to receive robust public participation in its process, the Authority has lengthened the public comment period to 60 days which is 15 days more than what is required by law.

The Draft EIR/EIS for the Fresno to Bakersfield section was released for public review in August 2011. In response to public feedback on the High-Speed Train (HST) alignment alternatives, the Authority and Federal Railroad Administration decided to revise the Draft EIR/EIS to include additional route and station options.

“The revised environmental document we release today responds to many of the public’s initial concerns and feedback which were drawn from communities throughout the Central Valley. We know we h ven’t ddressed ssues to everyone’s s t s ct on but this next part of the process is designed to get the pub c’s nput to continue to improve this document going forward ”

On July 5 and 6, the California Assembly and Senate approved funding for initial construction of the high speed rail system, along with funding for regional and local rail improvements statewide. This initial construction is expected to reach from north of Fresno to just north of Bakersfield.

The Revised Draft EIR/Supplemental Draft EIS includes the environmental analysis and mitigation measures associated with new alignment alternatives and potential station locations west of Hanford, an additional alternative through Bakersfield, and refinements to the existing Fresno to Bakersfield alternative alignments.

Public testimony on the revised documents will be accepted from July 20 to September 20, 2012, and can be sent via regular mail, email, through the Authority website or at public workshops or hearings scheduled on the dates noted below. Comments received during the public comment period will be used to identify issues that may require evaluation or additional consideration. Each comment received regarding the environmental document will be reviewed and substantive comments will be addressed in the Final EIR/EIS document, anticipated for public release in early 2013. Comments on the Draft EIR/EIS circulated in 2011 will also be addressed in the Final EIR/EIS.

Four (4) informational workshops will be held to inform the public of the contents of the

EIR/EIS:
Monday, August 13, 2012, 4-7 p.m.
Rosedale Middle School, Multipurpose
Room
12463 Rosedale Highway
Bakersfield, CA 93312

Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 4-7 p.m.
Elks Lodge
16694 Wasco Avenue
Wasco, CA 93280

Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 4-7 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Hall
1000 Van Dorsten Avenue
Corcoran, CA 93212

Thursday, August 16, 2012, 4-7 p.m.
The Grand 1401, Ballroom
1401 Fulton Street
Fresno, CA 93721

Three (3) public hearings will be offered to solicit comments:

Monday, August 27, 2012, 3-8 p.m.
Beale Memorial Library
701 Truxtun Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93301

Tuesday, August 28, 2012, 3-8 p.m.
Hanford Fraternal Hall
1015 N. 10th Avenue
Hanford, CA 93230

Wednesday, August 29, 2012, 3-8 p.m.
Fresno Convention Center, Exhibit Hall III
848 M Street
Fresno, CA 93721

For the full contents of the Revised DEIR/DEIS, visit:
http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/revised-draft-eir-f-b.

link that highlights the major changes between the Draft and Revised Business Plans:http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/uploadedFiles/Document_Repository/Business_Plans/Changes%20by%20Chapter%20Draft%20to%20Revised.pdf

link to the Executive Summary of the Revised Business Plan:http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/assets/0/152/431/72e92f77-014b-45a0-ad04-6cfd6d79c778.pdf

Here is the link to the complete Revised Business Plan:http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/assets/0/152/431/1a6251d7-36ab-4fec-ba8c-00e266dadec7.pdf

Should you want to look at other information related to the Business Plans, documents can be found here:http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/Business_Plan_reports.aspx