California High-Speed Rail Authority-Construction Exemption-In Merced, Madera and Fresno Counties, CA
In accordance with Surface Transportation Board (Board) procedures for complying with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) at 49 CFR part 1105, and consistent with the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) for implementing NEPA at 40 CFR 1506.3, the Board's Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) is recommending that the Board adopt a Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) issued by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority). This Final EIS is titled ``California High-Speed Train: Merced to Fresno Section, Final Project Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement.'' The Final EIS assesses the potential environmental impacts of constructing and operating a high-speed passenger train (HST) between Merced and Fresno in the San Joaquin Valley, California. OEA has independently reviewed the Final EIS and agrees with its analysis and conclusions. OEA is issuing this notice to advise the public and interested agencies that, should the Board find jurisdiction over the Authority's project, OEA is recommending, in any decision ruling on the request for construction authority, that the Board adopt the Final EIS issued by FRA and the Authority to satisfy the Board's NEPA obligations.