California High-Speed Rail Authority Releases Draft Environmental Document for Burbank to Los Angeles Section

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California High-Speed Rail Authority Releases Draft Environmental Document for Burbank to Los Angeles Section

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CHSRA Press Release:
May 26 2020 Sacramento

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is releasing the project-level draft environmental document for another project section in Southern California. The document, which covers the approximately 14-mile Burbank to Los Angeles Project Section, will be available for public review and comment starting on Friday, May 29.

The Burbank to Los Angeles project section connects two key multi-modal transportation hubs in Los Angeles County, a new Burbank Airport Station in Burbank and the existing Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS) in Los Angeles. These stations are intended to provide links with regional and local mass transit services as well as connectivity to airports and the highway networks in the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles Basin. This project section is also an important component of the entire statewide high-speed rail system that will connect Southern California with the Central Valley and Bay Area.

The Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIR/EIS) evaluates the impacts and benefits of the Authority’s Build Alternative that would realign the existing rail tracks to allow for two additional tracks to be added to much of the corridor. It will feature two electrified tracks for high-speed rail that can be shared with Metrolink and Amtrak, and two non-electrified tracks for Metrolink, Amtrak, and freight within the existing corridor. Closer to LAUS, there are already four existing mainline tracks and two of those will be electrified.

Adding high-speed rail tracks enhances this shared urban rail corridor by improving safety and operations for passenger rail and freight rail services. It also supports rail operations capacity enhancements and train service reliability improvements of the nation’s second busiest passenger rail line, the LOSSAN corridor between Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Luis Obispo. This corridor connects some of California’s most significant tourist, entertainment, cultural and business destinations.

With the release of this Burbank to Los Angeles Draft EIR/EIS, the Authority remains on schedule to complete environmental clearance for the full Phase 1 system by the federally mandated 2022 deadline. From Friday, May 29 through Thursday, July 16, the Burbank to Los Angeles Draft EIR/EIS is available for CEQA and NEPA review and public comment.

In conjunction with the public review period for the document, the Authority invites you to participate in both an online community open house and online public hearing. The public hearing will provide an opportunity for the public to submit oral and written comments on the Draft EIR/EIS. Comments received will be reviewed and responded to as required by law. The Final EIR/EIS document for Burbank to Los Angeles will be issued in 2021 and presented to the Authority Board to consider certification and project approval under CEQA and NEPA.

Due to public health and safety requirements concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19), the community open house and public hearing for the Draft EIR/EIS will occur online and/or as teleconference meetings only. Physical locations may be considered if restrictions are lifted. Please check the Authority’s website (www.hsr.ca.gov) for more information, including up-to-date information on the planned open house and hearing.

The online community open house is scheduled on:

June 18, 2020, 5:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. PST
Log on at www.hsr.ca.gov

The online public hearing is scheduled on:

July 8, 2020, 3:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. PST
Log on at www.hsr.ca.gov

The Authority is issuing this document as lead agency under CEQA, and also under NEPA pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) effective as of July 23, 2019, between the State of California and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) under a program commonly known as NEPA assignment (the MOU assigned FRA’s NEPA responsibilities for the project to the State of California). The Authority is the lead agency under CEQA, and under NEPA pursuant to the MOU.

There are several ways to submit a comment regarding the Draft EIR/EIS for the Burbank to Los Angeles Project Section. More info here:
 

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