NEWS RELEASE: California High-Speed Rail Extends Public Review Period, and Changes Public Hearing Date and Format, for Bakersfield to Palmdale Draft Environmental Document

Apr 7 2020 | Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) announced the public review period and public hearing for the Bakersfield to Palmdale Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) have been changed. The public review period previously scheduled to end on April 13, 2020 has been extended by 15 days to April 28, 2020. The Authority has also changed the date and format of the public hearing from an in-person hearing on April 9, 2020 to a “virtual” public hearing now scheduled for April 23, 2020.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the Authority has elected to extend the public review period for the Draft EIR/EIS to provide members of the public and stakeholders additional time to review and submit comments. This extension will also provide additional time for individuals to request access to the Draft EIR/EIS. In addition, the traditional in-person format of the public hearing will be held online and via telephone. The virtual public hearing will include a webcast and moderated call-in number for the public to submit their oral comments.

Detailed access information for the virtual public hearing will be sent out to individuals on the Authority’s electronic mailing list, and will also be posted on the Authority’s website ( To be added to the Authority’s electronic mailing list for this project section, or to receive the meeting details via telephone, please contact the Authority at (866) 300-3044.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced directives to address the need to slow the spread of COVID-19 including prohibiting gatherings of any size. In addition, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 on March 19, 2020, which orders all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, effective immediately and until further notice.
The public can continue to submit their comments on the Draft EIR/EIS the following ways:

After the comment period closes on April 28, 2020 and the comments received have been evaluated, staff will prepare and issue the Final EIR/EIS document and present it to the Board to consider certification and project approval under the California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act.

The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable Federal environmental laws for this project are being or have been carried out by the State of California pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated July 23, 2019, and executed by the Federal Railroad Administration and the State of California.
To view the contents of the Draft EIR/EIS, please visit our website:


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