Focus at Four: Grimes County Judge explains latest effort to stop high speed rail project

Opponents of a high speed rail system that would link Houston to Dallas held a news conference on Tuesday to announce attempts to add another layer of protection for private land in Grimes County.

Grimes County Judge Ben Leman announced today action taken by the county’s Commissioners Court that could restrict authorization for high-speed rail projects crossing county roads to only those projects with proof of eminent domain authority.

This Grimes County regulation, the only high-speed rail regulation at either local or state levels, could force Texas Central and any affiliate of the proposed Dallas-Houston high speed rail to show proof of their eminent domain authority before they can move forward with their project through Grimes County.

A spokesperson for Texas Central Parnters tells KBTX the organization does have the legal right and eminent domain authority to move forward with the project.

"We respect and value the property rights of Texas landowners. Texas Central’s planning has emphasized the importance of identifying and using land adjacent to or within existing rights of way in order to minimize any negative impacts to landowner property," according to a statement posted on Texas Central Partners' website.

Click on the video above to view today's Focus at Four interview with Grimes County Judge Ben Leman.