High-Speed Rail Authority and First Free Baptist Church of Bakersfield Reach Agreement to Settle Litigation

FRESNO — The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) today announced that it has reached a settlement agreement with the First Free Baptist Church of Bakersfield, which will result in the dismissal of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) litigation over the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the Fresno to Bakersfield project section of the high-speed rail program.

“This agreement demonstrates the high-speed rail program’s continued commitment to working with our partners to work through potential issues and develop solutions that will allow us to bring high-speed rail to the Bakersfield region,” said Central Valley Regional Director Diana Gomez.

As part of the settlement, the Authority agreed to fund church improvements to mitigate noise impacts from construction, while the church agreed to drop its legal challenge to the program. The Final EIR/EIS for the Fresno to Bakersfield project section of the high-speed rail program was adopted in 2014 and identified the high-speed rail route from Fresno to Bakersfield.

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