The city filed a lawsuit Friday against the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in an effort to prevent Metro from tunneling under Beverly Hills High School.
The lawsuit alleges that the FTA’s decision to make the Westside Subway Extension eligible for funding from Washington violated federal laws. City officials seek to make the federal government withhold funding for the project until an adequate environmental impact statement can be prepared.
The suit filed in federal court contends that the FTA relied on the same flawed Environmental Impact Statement and environmental approval process that the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) used when it approved the subway route under Beverly Hills High School.
“The Beverly Hills City Council has been very clear about its opposition to any tunnel beneath Beverly Hills High School,” City Attorney Laurence Wiener said in a statement. “The City has consistently exercised every opportunity available to legally challenge Metro in this regard.”
Last year the city filed a lawsuit in state court challenging Metro’s failure to adequately provide that hearing and Metro’s failure to properly comply with the California Environmental Quality Act.
The city council voted 5-0 Feb. 5 to add an additional $250,000 from Beverly Hills' budget surplus to the $1 million already allocated to fight the subway route under the high school.
The Beverly Hills Unified School District has filed a similar lawsuit against the FTA. If both suits prevail, federal funding would be unavailable for the estimated $5.6 billion project.