Capdiamont\’s Weblog


ER: Novato suit against NCRA moves forward
Thursday 3 Apr 2008, 07:24
Filed under: NCRA, Railroad

Arnold is a lier, she did a guest opinion in that she said, “I have decided that I will support SMART, but only if the SMART board takes a public stand against the resumption of freight service. I am not willing to turn my back on Novato residents north of Highway 37.”

Yet in this article she is quoted as saying she isn’t against freight.

Looks as though the setback, was actually NCRA’s request for tossing out the lawsuit?

A judge handed the North Coast Railroad Authority another setback this week in the agency’s efforts to return freight and passenger rail service to the North Coast after being idle for nearly a decade.

Judge James Ritchie of the Marin County Superior Court issued a ruling Tuesday that denied the NCRA’s effort to toss out the city of Novato’s suit that challenges the NCRA’s compliance with state environmental laws related to its repair work.

Novato has claimed the NCRA failed to do a full-blown environmental impact report under state laws that looked at the reopening and potential freight moving through Novato from Eureka — not just the local passenger service planned on the southern portions where
the repairs were targeted.

The NCRA argued earlier this month that Novato missed the 35-day statute of limitations to file a lawsuit.

The trial for the court to hear the merits of Novato’s case is scheduled to be heard May 6.

Humboldt County Supervisor John Woolley, who is also a member of the NCRA’s board of directors, announced Wednesday that the NCRA will appeal the ruling.

“We are still head-scratching over it,” Woolley said.

Woolley said NCRA officials believe the judge misunderstood the process for the project, which he said both Caltrans and the California Transportation Committee were aware of and agreed to.

“We followed the state process to the letter,” said Mitch Stogner, NCRA’s executive director.

In a phone interview, Stogner the NCRA will seek a writ with the California Court of Appeals, 1st District for an expedited review of the matter.

Work on the tracks continues to move forward for signal upgrades and levee repairs.

But, Stogner said, a previous court injunction has halted a $4 million bridge repair project in Schellville and threatens to interfere with the actual track repair contract yet to be awarded.

Marin County officials have sided with Novato.

Marin Supervisor Judy Arnold, who represents the district where Novato is located, said Wednesday via phone that she wasn’t familiar with all of the details of the ruling.

But Arnold, who was elected to her supervisor seat in 2007, said she’s been adamant about her concerns over freight trains traveling through Novato’s newly revamped $10 million city center.

“What I have said all along is that if the NCRA is gong to run freight, they can’t segment their EIR,” Arnold said.

While she isn’t against freight trains, Arnold said she wants the railroad agency to evaluate its complete project under California Environmental Quality Act process so everyone can know how many trains might be involved.

“I just want to know what the impact of freight is going to be,” Arnold said.

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1 Comment

[…] India eNews wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptArnold is a lier, she did a guest opinion in that she said, “I have decided that I will support SMART, but only if the SMART board takes a public stand against the resumption of freight service. I am not willing to turn my back on … […]

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