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Judge rejects environmental approval of Highway 1 expansion

September 6, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge has rejected state environmental approval of a plan to expand Highway 1 in Pacifica.

U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria said Friday state transportation officials gave a federal wildlife agency incorrect information when seeking the agency’s approval for the work.

The California Department of Transportation proposed preserving 5 acres to offset damage the highway expansion would cause to the habitat of two endangered species — the California red-legged frog and the San Francisco garter snake.

But Chhabria said that land was already slated for preservation and was therefore not a benefit that could be tied directly to the highway expansion. He ordered Caltrans to again seek the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s approval.

A Caltrans spokesman did not immediately have comment.

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