Valley Link

REGIONAL — The Tri-Valley-San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority issued a draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for the Valley Link project consistent with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) last week, Dec. 2.

This opened a 50-day public comment period where stakeholders are encouraged to review the document’s discussion of environmental issues associated with the proposed project and submit comments to the Authority, which is serving as the lead agency for the environmental impact report (EIR).

“I’m extremely pleased that we have reached this important milestone,” said Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who also serves as chair of the Rail Authority Board of Directors. “The release of the draft environmental document for the Valley Link project takes us one step closer to providing congestion relief in one of the most difficult mega-commute corridors in the nation. The Valley Link Project will link our Alameda County workforce to affordable housing, provide opportunities for compact transit-oriented development and will have a significant impact on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Authority proposes to establish a new seven-station passenger rail service along a 42-mile corridor between the existing Dublin/Pleasanton Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Station and the approved Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) North Lathrop Station, which is included in the ACE Extension Lathrop to Ceres/Merced Project.

The proposed project would span Alameda and San Joaquin counties. The project would use existing transportation corridors: the existing Interstate 580 corridor (11.7 miles) in the Tri- Valley; the Alameda County Transportation Corridor right-of-way through the Altamont Pass (14.5 miles); and the existing Union Pacific Railroad Corridor (16.1 miles) in Northern San Joaquin County.

“I am grateful to all who have played a role in completing this DEIR and look forward to continuing to collaborate with all of the local jurisdictions it will serve,” said Veronica Vargas, Authority vice chair and Tracy councilmember. “Valley Link will have a transformational impact on our communities, and I encourage everyone to participate in its development.”

Three online meetings are scheduled to allow public presentation and discussion of the DEIR: Saturday, Dec. 12, from 9 to 10:30 a.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 16, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Thursday, Dec. 17, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

For more information, visit www.valleylinkrail.com. A copy of the DEIR (including all appendices), along with information about how to join the online open house meetings will be provided on the Authority’s website at www.valleylinkrail.com/environmental-ceqa.

Written responses and comments on the DEIR for the project are encouraged and will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Jan. 21, 2021.

Comments may be sent via email to drafteircomments@valleylinkrail.com. Include “Valley Link DEIR” in the subject heading for emailed comments. Comments may also be sent via mail to:

Tri-Valley - San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority

Attn: Valley Link Draft EIR 1362 Rutan Court, Suite 100

Livermore, CA 94551