Settlement reached in Calif. bullet train lawsuit - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Settlement reached in Calif. bullet train lawsuit

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California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to journalists on board a high speed rail leaving from the Beijing South train station in Beijing, China, Thursday, April 11, 2013. (AP) California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to journalists on board a high speed rail leaving from the Beijing South train station in Beijing, China, Thursday, April 11, 2013. (AP)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal oversight panel has ruled that it has jurisdiction over California's high-speed rail project, potentially causing delays and added costs if the state is forced to comply with federal railroad regulations.

But Dan Richard, chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority board, says he's confident the Surface Transportation Board will approve the rail plan's request for an exemption next month.

Thursday's decision comes as the authority settled a lawsuit with Central Valley farmers over their claims that rail planners failed to follow California environmental law.

A Sacramento judge approved the settlement, clearing the last legal hurdle for the $68 billion project to break ground this summer.

It's a significant win for Gov. Jerry Brown and allies of what would be the nation's first high-speed rail system.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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