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Judge backs Calif. high-speed rail over farmers

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[November 17, 2012]  SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A judge has denied a request from Central Valley farmers to temporarily block California's ambitious high-speed rail project.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley on Friday denied a request for a preliminary injunction to halt the $68 billion infrastructure project.

Groups representing Central Valley farmers claim that the California High-Speed Rail Authority should have to halt all planning and engineering work because the state violated environmental laws.

The judge ruled that "the authority acted reasonably and in good faith" in considering the project's impact.

The rail authority's chairman, Dan Richard, says the judge's decision "ensures that we can continue to move forward" on building the first 65-mile section from Merced to Fresno.

While Frawley denied the farmers' request for an injunction, the lawsuit still will be heard on its merits.

[Associated Press; By JULIET WILLIAMS]

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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