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The Madera Tribune

Anti-bullet train lawsuits settled

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webmaster | 04/19/13

A settlement has been reached in the final lawsuit surrounding the Merced-to-Fresno section of California’s controversial high-speed rail project, though one opponent of the project involved in the suit said the state had to make “significant concessions” to landowners as part of the deal.

Signed by Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, the agreement brings to a close one of the final legal barriers keeping the California High-Speed Rail Authority — which is responsible for overseeing the rail line’s construction and eventual operation — from starting construction this summer.

The deal comes a day before a state court was set to hear the case, in which five groups — the Madera County Farm Bureau, Merced County Farm Bureau, the Fagundes farming family of Madera and the agricultural organization Preserve Our Heritage — alleged that the Authority violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by not accurately assessing the project’s agricultural impacts.

As such, the lawsuit claimed the authority’s approval of the 65-mile Merced to Fresno section — the first section of high-speed rail that could be bid on as early as next month — was illegal...


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