Is It Finally Over?: Court Denies Appeal of Expo Phase II Environmental Documents (Updated, 3:00)

It's over. Maybe.

As excitement builds over the soon-to-be opening of Phase I of the Expo Line, it appears the legal challenges to Phase II may be at an end.  Earlier today, the State of California Court of Appeals Second Appellate Division Eight formally rejected the appeal of an earlier decision that the Expo Construction Authority followed state environmental laws when completing the environmental review of Phase II of the Expo Line that will complete the light rail line from Culver City to Santa Monica.

The entire draft of the ruling can be found here, but here is the most relevant paragraph.  Streetsblog will continue to update this story as people react to the ruling:

We find no merit in petitioner‟s contentions and affirm the judgment. Because we  disagree with Sunnyvale and Madera, and hold that use of projected future conditions as  a baseline for analyzing environmental impacts is proper in this case, we publish that  portion of our opinion.

Update I, 3:00 P.M.: So, it’s probably not over.  A lawyer familiar with CEQA cases and this case in particular notes some language makes an appeal to the California Supreme Court likely because the appeals court disagreed with existing case law from the Sunnyvale decision which said that CEQA studies should be based on existing conditions and not future ones.



BREAKING NEWS: CPUC Approves All Expo Phase II Crossings

Earlier today, the California Public Utilities Commission gave the green light to proceed with construction of Phase II of the Expo Line.  CPUC was widely expected to delay their decision on whether or not the rail/road crossings for Phase II were safe enough and that they wouldn’t cause excess pollution by creating traffic delay.  In […]

It’s Official: Back to Court for Expo Phase II and NFSR

As promised, Neighbors for Smart Rail (NFSR) is appealing the decision of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Thomas McKnew to dismiss their lawsuit alleging that the Expo Construction Authority violated state environmental law when doing their studies of the future light rail lines route.  The appeal was filed nearly two weeks ago, on September 15, […]