Judge rejects bid to halt California high-speed rail project

A Sacramento County judge has rejected a bid by agricultural interests to temporarily halt California's bullet train project in the Central Valley until a lawsuit can be decided.

After a three-hour hearing, Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley on Friday evening declined to issue a preliminary injunction against the California High-Speed Rail Authority that was sought by farm bureaus in Merced and Madera counties.

Filed earlier this year, the lawsuit alleges that the rail authority failed to conduct thorough environmental reviews as required by the California Environmental Quality Act and violated state open-meeting laws related to the analysis.

Frawley ruled that the cost of delaying the project outweighed the risk to farmers and others along the route whose property would be affected. He also said that it was not clear to him at this point in the case that the authority had failed to meet the standards of the environmental quality act.

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-- Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times

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