Grimes County is joining Texans Against High Speed Rail, affected landowners, and other impacted organizations and counties, as a plaintiff in a federal court lawsuit to challenge the Federal Railroad Administration’s issuance of a final environmental impact statement, and Record of Decision.
County Judge Joe Fauth, speaking during the Wednesday meeting of Commissioner’s Court, listed off specific points for why he believes Grimes County’s involvement is important.
“It is important to let Texas Central know that counties that are affected, are going to challenge the project at every chance they get. And this is one of those chances we get, at no cost to us. Second point is, in order to prevail in the lawsuit, we want the judge needs to see this is more than just a few disgruntled landowners complaining. When counties, and municipalities, join as plaintiffs, it sends a message to the judge hearing this case that it has merit,” said Fauth.
“Third, with counties on board, it is less likely that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), will challenge the plaintiff’s standing to filing suit, and clearing the hurdle saves us time and expense on our end in opposing this. The fourth, and final point I would like to make, this is an opportunity for the county to protect it’s interests, at no costs…Grimes County has nothing to lose by joining, and it will help the overall lawsuit if Grimes County does join.”
Now, in short, this lawsuit would challenge Texas Central’s ability and authority to move forward with the project. It is, according to Fauth, a way for TCR to get their duck’s in a row.
“They have not been given eminent domain authority, they do not have all the permits required to move forward on this…so, we want to join this suit to slow them down, to make sure that they dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s,” said Fauth.
Texas Central has not released a comment on the plaintiffs in the lawsuit yet.
The Commissioner’s voted for the County to become a plaintiff in that lawsuit.