“Making CEQA a federal case? Recent actions of California’s Supreme Court and the federal Surface Transportation Board set up a preemption showdown”

By Miller Starr Regalia, Arthur F. Coon and Matthew C. Henderson : lexology – excerpt

Controversy has dogged the California high speed rail project since before its inception with the 2008 passage of Proposition 1A, the bond measure providing the project’s initial funding.  The controversy has not abated in the years since, and the project has been subject to ever-escalating cost estimates and almost constant second-guessing.  It has also been the target for multiple CEQA lawsuits.  Recent developments in this area demonstrate just how complex the legal landscape can get when it comes to CEQA’s application to large and long-term public railway projects.  Two very different bodies – the California Supreme Court and the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) – have just waded into this legal thicket to try to provide some clarity.  But things could get worse before they get better in that regard, as the stage is set for potentially conflicting rulings on the application of federal preemption law to CEQA… (more)

RELATED:
Surface Transportation Board Rules That ICCTA Preempts CEQA Review of California’s High-Speed Train System
The Federal Surface Transportation Board Finds California Environmental Quality Act Preempted as Applied to High-Speed Rail Projects

 

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