White House to expedite high speed rail review

    Two federal agencies are taking steps to speed up the environmental reviews necessary to bring high-speed train service to the North East Corridor.

    The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) have started a pilot project to “identify efficiencies to speed the environmental review process” that will inform selection of service types and station locations.

    Under the program, federal, state and local governments — and the public — will get involved in the environmental review process earlier, in hopes of preventing problems later in the project.

    “The Northeast Corridor is the busiest rail corridor in the U.S.,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  “Our planned improvements will lead to more jobs, a stronger rail system and a stronger economy.  By bringing all involved parties to the table earlier in the process, we will do the job better and finish it sooner.”

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