Kern County officials filed a lawsuit claiming the state’s 20,000-page environmental review does not comply with the California Environmental Quality Act because it is not thorough enough and fails to account for things such as relocating existing electrical infrastructure, locating construction staging areas and public access to parkways in Bakersfield. The county also said the review only considered the segment between Fresno to Bakersfield without considering the Madera to Fresno segment; believing it should all be considered as one project.
Kings County, Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability and the Kings County Farm Bureau also sued over the same document, saying it fails to address the effect of the project on thousands of acres of farmland, wildlife habitat, communities, businesses and industrial facilities. They also noted potential harm to existing roads, oil and water wells, and water delivery and drainage facilities.
The state attorney general’s office has argued that the bullet train should be exempt from California’s strict environmental review process now that it is subject to federal oversight.