Judge rules against Alabama enviromental group’s attempt to block Northern Beltline

Late Friday afternoon, a U.S. District Court ruled against Black Warrior Riverkeeper Inc., a local Alabama environmental group, in their request to block the start of construction for the Northern Beltline.

Yellow Hammer Politics Reports:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the permit for the first phase of construction on the beltline in September of last year. Less than a month later, theSouthern Environmental Law Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of Black Warrior Riverkeeper challenging the permit and seeking to block construction.

The lawsuit was based on the premise that beginning the first phase of construction — a 1.8 mile segment joining State Roads 79 and 75 — violated requirements in the National Environmental Policy Act stating that environmental impact studies must be performed before permits can be granted. The Corps of Engineers had conducted such a study on the first segment of construction, but not the entire 51-mile project.

The court found that “requiring the Corps to prepare [a study for each section of the beltline ahead of time] would likely result in the project never being started at all and would be useless and redundant.”

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