The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has just released the first Draft Environmental Impact Report for the California High-Speed Rail (CHSR) project. The document, which covers the 80-mile stretch of the project from Bakersfield to Palmdale, will be open for public comment starting on Friday, February 28th.
The Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section will 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.
Attainment of environmental clearance on schedule
The approximately 80-mile project section will travel through or near the communities of Bakersfield, Edison, Tehachapi, Rosamond, Lancaster and Palmdale with stations in Bakersfield and Palmdale. The approved Bakersfield Station and the proposed Palmdale Station would maximize ridership, work in coordination with of local land use planning and provide multi-modal transportation options, including potential connection with Brightline Trains in 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, February 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.