SACRAMENTO (AP) – The Trump administration has given California permission to oversee federal environmental reviews for its high-speed rail project.

It comes as the administration is simultaneously trying to cancel a nearly $1 billion federal grant for the project. California won about $3.5 billion in federal help during the Obama administration to build the first phase of a high-speed rail line connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The administration delayed giving California authority to oversee the environmental reviews for about a year and a half. The California High-Speed Rail Authority announced Thursday it has won approval.

Brian Annis, the authority’s chief financial officer, says the designation will speed up California’s process for completing environmental reviews on the rail line.

A spokesman for the Federal Railroad Administration did not immediately comment.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press.

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