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High-Speed Rail Foes Argue State Environmental Law Applies

California High-Speed Rail / Flickr

Mock up of the San Jose high speed rail station.

California High-Speed Rail / Flickr

(AP) - Opponents of California's high-speed rail project are seeking to overturn a federal agency's ruling that says U.S. environmental law trumps the state's law.

Attorneys for Kings and Kern counties filed a petition Monday in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in San Francisco. The Fresno Bee reports that they were joined by Kings County landowners and project opponents from the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento.

Opponents of the $68 billion project previously asked the federal Surface Transportation Board to take oversight of the project. The federal board did, and ruled in December that federal law supersedes the California Environmental Quality Act.

The transportation board ruling bars state judges from issuing injunctions to halt work, which is among the ways opponents have sought to block high-speed rail construction.