Environmentalists Applaud Brown's Shift on High-Speed Rail Regulations
Environmentalists are welcoming Governor Brown’s apparent reversal on a controversial proposal to protect high-speed rail from lawsuits under the California Environmental Quality Act.
Environmental groups objected to the plan, intended to fast-track construction of the bullet train. Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club California, says the plan would have weakened the state’s landmark environmental law.
“Environmental review is something to protect the public,” says Phillips. “It’s to help ensure that projects are the best possible. It’s to make sure that money isn’t wasted. So we want to make sure that when we get high-speed rail we get the best environmental deal from that project. And environmental review will help do that.”
But Phillips is concerned the proposal may be raised again as high-speed rail moves forward. The Legislature is expected to introduce a bill next week to appropriate $6 billion to begin construction of the project.