High Speed Rail Authority to Test in Angeles National Forest

The Forest Service received an application on Sept. 8 from the California High Speed Rail Authority to study the feasibility of constructing a high-speed rail tunnel that the Authority is considering in some proposed alternatives, which would go through the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

The feasibility study investigation would consist of drilling, installing, testing and backfilling borings at five to eight locations on the Angeles National Forest (there would be no borings inside the National Monument) to depths varying from approximately 900 to 2500 feet below ground surface. To minimize their effect on existing surface resources, these borings will be located along existing roads on the Forest. The investigation will provide data to help evaluate potentially challenging conditions for tunnel design and construction by investigating groundwater, geology and faults. The resulting information will add to the understanding of local water and seismic conditions.

The Forest is proposing to process this feasibility study application under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) as a Categorical Exclusion (short term geophysical study), and is seeking public comments until Oct. 23. The Forest Service states it is aware of the public interest regarding any high speed rail alignment through the Forest. At this point in the application process, it is seeking comments only on the feasibility study, not the selection or construction of any route under the Forest. Comments unrelated to the feasibility study will not be considered. Approval of this application for the study does not constitute Forest Service approval or endorsement of any future high speed rail alignment on or off Forest.

A complete project description is available at http://go.usa.gov/3tpnR.

Comments may be sent by mail or email to Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, Attn. George Farra, 701 N. Santa Anita Ave., Arcadia, CA 91006 or email gfarra@fs.fed.us. Subject: HSRA GI.