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Rail News: Sustainability

California High-Speed Rail Authority reports sustainability actions

A rendering of California's high-speed train.
Photo –


The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) late last week released a 2020 sustainability report that details its efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

The report outlines actions and policies involving station planning, energy needs, emissions and community partnerships, including:

  • opening of the Central Valley Training Center in Selma to offer pre-apprenticeship classes in construction industry courses;
  • continuing work to environmentally clear the project's first phase by 2022;
  • preserving 3,645 acres of natural habitat and agricultural land; and
  • achieving a 97% recycling rate of all waste to date.

"The environment and climate are important aspects of sustainability, but we also address the social and economic realities that are all part of constructing high-speed rail in California," said Margaret Cederoth, CHSRA's director of sustainability and planning, in a press release.

The authority aims to neutralize all emissions released from construction activities through community agreements. For example, under a voluntary agreement, the authority's urban forestry program has planted more than 5,000 trees, sequestering 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide over the trees' lifespan. Planted primarily in disadvantaged communities, the trees help offset emissions generated during construction.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/19/2020