PRESS RELEASE: High-Speed Rail Board removes final environmental hurdles to advance service in Los Angeles
60% of the Phase 1 system from San Francisco to Los Angeles and Anaheim is now environmentally cleared
January 20, 2022
LOS ANGELES – The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) Board of Directors today unanimously approved the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/ EIS) for the Burbank to Los Angeles project section of approximately 14 miles. This action paves the way for full California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) clearance of nearly 300 miles of the 500-mile Phase 1 alignment of the San Francisco high-speed rail project in LA/Anaheim.
The Council’s actions mark the second certification of an environmental document in the Southern California region and the first in the Los Angeles Basin.
“Today’s approval represents a historic milestone and brings us closer to providing the first high-speed rail system in the United States,” said Authority CEO Brian Kelly. “We appreciate the continued support and collaboration with local and regional agencies and stakeholders as we work together to improve transportation in California.”
Board certification of the final EIR/EIS from Burbank to Los Angeles is a critical step that brings the section of the project closer to being “ready to start” as funding becomes available. The section will connect the high-speed rail system from a new Hollywood Burbank Airport station to the existing Los Angeles Union Station, providing an additional link between downtown Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.
The route for this section of the Project will primarily utilize the existing rail right-of-way adjacent to the Los Angeles River through the cities of Burbank, Glendale and Los Angeles. High-speed rail service along this route will improve long-term air quality, reduce rail congestion and increase mobility.
The Board’s certification of the Final Environmental Document and approval of the Los Angeles Burbank Project section reaffirms the Authority’s commitment to complete the environmental process for the complete Phase 1 of California’s high-speed rail system from San Francisco in Los Angeles/Anaheim by 2023.
The Board will review the final environmental documents for the sections of the project from San Jose to Merced and from San Francisco to San Jose in April and June of this year.
Next steps under CEQA and NEPA will include filing a Notice of CEQA Determination and issuing a Record of Decision that meets NEPA requirements. The final EIR/EIS can be viewed on the Authority’s website here: https://hsr.ca.gov/programs/environmental-planning/project-section-environmental-documents-tier-2/burbank-to -los-angeles-project-section-project-environmental-impact-report-environmental-impact-statement/
The Authority currently has 119 miles under construction with 35 active construction sites in California’s Central Valley. To date, over 7,000 construction jobs have been created since construction began. For more information, visit www.buildhsr.com.