California News

Apr 18, 2013 6:48 PM by ASSOCIATED PRESS

Settlement reached in Calif. bullet train lawsuit

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A federal oversight panel has ruled that it has jurisdiction over California's high-speed rail project, potentially causing delays and added costs if the state is forced to comply with federal railroad regulations.

But Dan Richard, chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority board, says he's confident the Surface Transportation Board will approve the rail plan's request for an exemption next month.

Thursday's decision comes as the authority settled a lawsuit with Central Valley farmers over their claims that rail planners failed to follow California environmental law.

A Sacramento judge approved the settlement, clearing the last legal hurdle for the $68 billion project to break ground this summer.

It's a significant win for Gov. Jerry Brown and allies of what would be the nation's first high-speed rail system.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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