California High-Speed Rail Project Bakersfield to Palmdale: Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report / Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement

4 Documents in Project

Summary

SCH Number
2009082062
Lead Agency
California High Speed Rail Authority
Document Title
California High-Speed Rail Project Bakersfield to Palmdale: Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report / Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement
Document Type
JD - Joint Document
Received
Present Land Use
Urban [industrial, commercial, and residential], rural residential, agricultural, and undeveloped.
Document Description
A Statewide Program Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) (Tier 1) was certified in November 2005 as the first phase of a tiered environmental review process for the proposed California High-Speed Rail (HSR) system planned to provide a reliable, high-speed, electric powered rail system that links the major metropolitan areas of the state and that delivers predictable and consistent travel times. A further objective is to provide an interface with commercial airports, mass transit, and the highway network and to relieve capacity constraints of the existing transportation system as increases in intercity travel demand in California occur, in a manner sensitive to and protective of California’s unique natural resources. The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) has prepared a Draft EIR/EIS that further examines the Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section at the project level (Tier 2), within Kern and Los Angeles counties. The project examined is construction and operation of a grade-separated, dedicated double-track, electric powered, passenger, steel-wheel-on-steel-rail, high-speed railroad between Bakersfield and Palmdale, including a station in Bakersfield (approved by the Authority under CEQA in October 2018 and under NEPA in November 2019) and a station in Palmdale. Consistent with the Tier 1 decisions, the Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section is approximately 80 miles in length and traverses valley, mountain, and high desert terrain, as well as urban, rural, and agricultural lands. From the north, this project section begins at the Bakersfield Station and travels south and southeast through the Tehachapi Mountains, then descends into the Antelope Valley, where it terminates at the Palmdale Station. The Draft EIR/EIS describes a no-project alternative and HSR Build alternatives (including alignment, station, and maintenance facility alternatives) and identifies potential impacts, benefits, and mitigation measures. Following the Authority’s publication of the Draft EIR/EIS in February 2020, the Authority learned that the California Fish and Game Commission advanced the Southern California and Central Coast mountain lion (Puma concolor) populations to candidacy for listing under the California Endangered Species Act. The Authority also learned that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that listing the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) under the Endangered Species Act is warranted, but that listing is precluded by other priorities; therefore, the monarch butterfly is now a candidate species under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will review the species’ status annually until a listing decision is made. Both CEQA and NEPA provide guidance on the recirculation and supplementation of published environmental documents. Pursuant to pertinent requirements of both laws, the Authority, as lead CEQA and NEPA agency for the Bakersfield to Palmdale Project Section, is issuing this Revised Draft EIR/Supplemental Draft EIS limited to the portions of the Draft EIR/EIS to address new information about the mountain lion and the monarch butterfly. New information includes background information, impact analysis, and mitigation measures. In addition to providing new information about the mountain lion and monarch butterfly, the Authority has identified two new mitigation measures to address impacts to wildlife resulting from lighting during construction and during project operation. Other information that has not been revised, including the methods for evaluating impacts under NEPA and the methods for determining significance under CEQA, as well as the appendices and technical reports, can be found in the Draft EIR/EIS. The previously published Draft EIR/EIS, including Sections 3.7 and 3.19, is available on the Authority’s website (www.hsr.ca.gov).The sections comprising the Revised Draft EIR/Supplemental Draft EIS are: 1. Summary 2. Section 3.7, Biological and Aquatic Resources 3. Section 3.19.5.7, Cumulative Impacts, Biological and Aquatic Resources The Authority reviewed other sections of the Draft EIR/EIS and found, based on research and a review of the evidence, that no other substantive changes would be required. All revisions made in response to the updated information are being made in this Revised Draft EIR/Supplemental Draft EIS. All other subsections and appendices to Section 3.7 and the technical reports supporting Section 3.7 of the Draft EIR/EIS were not revised. Section 3.7 includes new mitigation measures. These will be incorporated into the Mitigation Monitoring and Enforcement Plan, to be included as part of the CEQA/NEPA decision documents.

Contact Information

Name
Serge Stanich
Agency Name
California High-Speed Rail Authority
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency

Location

Cities
Bakersfield, Lancaster, Mojave, Palmdale, Rosamond, Tehachapi
Counties
Kern, Los Angeles
Regions
Southern California
Total Acres
~80 miles
State Highways
58, 14, 204, 178, 184, 202, 138
Airports
Tehachapi, Pontius Air, Palmdale
Waterways
Kern Rvr, E. Side Canal, Caliente, Clear, Tweedy, Tehachapi, Amargosa, & Oak Creeks, LA Aqueduct

Notice of Completion

Review Period Start
Review Period End
Development Types
Transportation:Rail (High-Speed Rail)
Local Actions
Public Works
Project Issues
Biological Resources, Cumulative Effects
Reviewing Agencies
California Air Resources Board (ARB), California Department of Conservation (DOC), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), California Department of Education, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Habitat Conservation Planning (CDFW), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, South Coast Region 5 (CDFW), California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), California Department of Parks and Recreation, California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), California Department of State Parks, Division of Boating and Waterways, California Department of Transportation, District 6 (DOT), California Department of Transportation, District 7 (DOT), California Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics (DOT), California Department of Transportation, Division of Transportation Planning (DOT), California Department of Water Resources (DWR), California Energy Commission, California Fish and Game Commission (CDFGC), California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES), California Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC), California Natural Resources Agency, California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Fresno Region 5 (RWQCB), California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Lahontan Victorville Region 6 (RWQCB), California State Lands Commission (SLC), California Transportation Commission (CATC), Central Valley Flood Protection Board, Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Department of General Services (DGS), Department of Toxic Substances Control, Office of Historic Preservation, State Water Resources Control Board, State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Quality, State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Rights, State Water Resources Control Board, Divison of Financial Assistance, California Highway Patrol (CHP), California Department of Transportation, District 9 (DOT), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Central Region 4 (CDFW)
Reviewing Agency Comments
California Highway Patrol (CHP), California Department of Transportation, District 9 (DOT), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Central Region 4 (CDFW)

Attachments

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