SCVNews.com | California High Speed Rail Releases Draft Environmental Document for Palmdale-Burbank Section
The California High-Speed Rail Authority released the draft environmental document for the 30+ mile segment between Palmdale and Burbank in Southern California.
“The release of this draft environmental document underscores the momentum underway with this transformational project,” said Southern California Regional Manager LaDonna DiCamillo. “We have cleared 422 of the 500 miles of the Phase 1 system between the Bay Area and Los Angeles/Anaheim. We look forward to hearing from residents and stakeholders during this phase of public comment as we strive to provide a clean, fast and safe transportation system to all Californians.
The draft environmental document is available for public review by the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act until November 1.
The section of the project is between 31 and 38 miles long and will connect two key population centers in Los Angeles County, the Antelope Valley and the San Fernando Valley, linking future multimodal transportation hubs in Palmdale and Burbank.
The draft environmental document addresses traffic, air quality, noise, vibration and aesthetics, and assesses the impacts and benefits of six construction alternatives:
The preferred alternative is the SR14A alternative, which would avoid crossing Lake Una and minimize impacts to nearby wetlands.
Trains running on the Preferred Alternative alignment would run entirely underground through the community of Acton, Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. The SR14A alternative is also underground where it crosses the Pacific Crest Trail, avoiding trail impacts. Through the northern portion of the San Fernando Valley, the SR14A alternative is in a tunnel, emerges near the Hansen Dam leaching grounds, then follows the Metrolink/Union Pacific rail alignment almost entirely into the existing corridor until in Burbank.
With the release of this draft EIR/EIS of the Palmdale project section in Burbank, the Authority is on track to complete environmental clearance for the complete Phase 1 of California’s high-speed rail system from San Francisco. in Los Angeles/Anaheim by the end of 2024.
Alongside the public review period of the draft EIR/EIS, the Authority invites the public to participate in an online open day and an online public hearing. The open house meeting will provide the public with an overview of the environmental document, the opportunity for attendees to review and ask questions about the draft EIR/EIS, and information on where to access the environmental document and how to participate in the process. of public consultation. The public hearing will be an opportunity to submit comments on the draft RIE/EIS.
The open day will consist of separate presentations in English and Spanish with simultaneous interpretation in the other language.
Comments received will be reviewed and responded to in the final EIR/EIS. The final EIR/EIS for the Burbank section of the Palmdale Project is expected to be released in 2023 and presented to the Authority’s Board of Directors to consider certification and project approval under CEQA and NEPA.
Due to public health and safety concerns related to COVID-19, meetings for the draft RIA/EIS will be held online. Please check the authority website or call (800) 630-1039 for more information on additional in-person meeting opportunities, COVID-19 pandemic public health and safety guidelines permitting.
The Authority is issuing this document as a lead agency under CEQA, as well as under NEPA pursuant to 23 USC 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) effective July 23, 2019. MOU is entered into between the State of California and the Federal Railroad Administration. under a scheme known as the NEPA Assignment (the MoU assigned FRA’s NEPA responsibilities for the project to the State of California).
There are several ways to submit a comment regarding the draft EIR/EIS for the Palmdale Project section in Burbank, including:
-By mail to the attention of: “Palmdale to Burbank Draft EIR/EIS Comment”, California High-Speed Rail Authority, 355 S. Grand Avenue, Suite 2050 Los Angeles, CA 90071;
-Through the Authority website
-By email to [email protected] with the subject line “Palmdale to Burbank Draft EIR/EIS Comment”
– Verbal commentary on the direct phone line for the Palmdale Project section in Burbank at (800) 630-1039; and
-Oral testimony during the online public hearing.
To view the content of the draft EIR/EIS, please visit the Authority’s website website.
The California High Speed Rail is currently under construction for 119 miles in California’s Central Valley at 35 active yards. To date, over 8,000 construction jobs have been created since construction began. For more visit the website.
The following link contains recent videos, animations, photographs, media center resources and latest renders.
These files are all freely available, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.