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Monday, July 08, 2013    

California report outlines environmental benefits of high-speed rail

The California High-Speed Rail Authority released a report last week on the potential greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reductions in California resulting from the proposed high-speed rail (HSR) project.

The report, which was required by Senate Bill 1029, also details other environmental benefits associated with the construction and operation of a HSR system, authority officials said in a press release.

The "benefits" would include:
• an estimated 4 to 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide saved by 2030;
• thousands of new trees across the Central Valley;
• zero net GHG emissions during construction; and
• strict guidelines for sustainability best practices for design-build contracts to minimize environmental impacts and improve air quality.

"This project will serve in the near term as the backbone of a more sustainable growth strategy in the San Joaquin Valley, and over time will provide a climate-friendly transportation option linking southern and northern California," said California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols.

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