The California High Speed Rail Authority said it will hold a meeting here to get public input about the environmental impact of the giant project.
The so-called scoping meeting will be held at the Merced Senior Center Thursday, Jan. 21, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The center is at 755 W. 15th St., Merced.
Organizers said the open-house format will allow individuals with questions, comments, concerns and suggestions to directly talk to the appropriate experts and planners who are conducting the project analysis.
If you are unable to attend, written comments may be submitted through Feb. 26.
The project proposes high-speed train service between Los Angeles and San Diego and to the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento. The trains are projected to travel at more than 200 mph and forecast to carry up to 41 million passengers a year over the entire 800-mile network by 2035, backers said.
The rail authority said that as lead agency for the California Environmental Quality Act process, it had issued a Notice of Preparation of a Project Level Environmental Impact Report/Statement for the Merced-to-Sacramento section of the proposed high-speed train system.
The Federal Railroad Administration, as the lead federal agency under the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act, said it’s also publishing a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register.
The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission is a local partner to the state rail agency.
A scoping meeting is designed to ensure that the issues most important to residents, public agencies and other involved parties are addressed, organizers said in a news release. Authorities use the meetings to get input on alternatives and issues that will be examined in the draft environmental impact report.
The Notice of Preparation, meeting dates and locations are available at www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov. You can also give your comments in writing to Don Leavitt, Deputy Director, Merced-to-Sacramento California High-Speed Rail Authority, 925 L St., Suite 1424, Sacramento, CA 95814.
You can also submit your comments via e-mail to email@example.com with the subject line “Merced to Sacramento HSR.”
If you require an interpreter, including sign language services or other accommodations at the meeting, pleasecontact (916) 567-8072.