Below is the news release from the Expo Line Construction Authority, the independent agency building the second phase of the project between Culver City and Santa Monica. And here is a link [pdf] to the court ruling.
The California Court of Appeal yesterday ruled unanimously in favor of the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (Expo Authority) in litigation brought by Neighbors for Smart Rail (NFSR) against the Expo Line Phase 2 project. The Court affirmed the judgment of the Superior Court and held that the Expo Authority complied with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in the Expo Authority’s certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report (Final EIR) and approval of the project.
The Court rejected all of NFSR’s challenges to the Final EIR and concluded that the Final EIR adequately evaluated potential impacts of the project, including potential traffic impacts on Sepulveda Boulevard, growth inducing impacts and potential cumulative impacts, among others. The Court concluded that the Authority complied with CEQA in evaluating the significance of potential traffic and air quality impacts of the project against projected future traffic and air quality conditions in 2030.
In its ruling, the Court stated:
“We agree with the Expo Authority . . . that, in a proper case, and when supported by substantial evidence, use of projected conditions may be an appropriate way to measure the environmental impacts that a project will have on traffic, air quality and greenhouse gas emissions….”
The Expo Authority continues to move forward with final design and construction on the Phase 2 project, which is essential to the full realization of the entire Expo Line project connecting downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica. The Expo Line will bring greater mobility to the region by connecting the Westside to the region’s existing rail network. The communities along this alignment have been traditionally underserved by public transportation and are among the most traffic-congested in the nation. Service on Phase 1 of the Expo Line will begin on April 28, 2012, with service to the Culver City station later this summer.