Public Statement re: U.S. District Court Ruling on Section 3 of Interstate 69

Case 1:11-cv-00202-LJM-DML|
Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC) and Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads (CARR) sought judicial review, under the Administrative Procedure Act, of the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to issue a dredge and fill permit to Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), authorizing INDOT to discharge dredged and fill material into waters of the United States. The U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana denied HEC and CARR’s motion for summary judgment on July 24, 2012.

INDIANAPOLIS (July 25, 2012) – Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC) and Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads (CARR) are disappointed with Judge McKinney’s decision in favor of the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and the Army Corp of Engineers (Corps). HEC continues to believe that the Corps had a clear obligation to independently evaluate alternatives for the entire I-69 corridor, as Judge Hamilton ruled on I-69 decision in 2007.

HEC and CARR, represented in court by the Environmental Legal and Policy Center, are considering appeal options.

HEC and CARR remain concerned that both the courts and the federal government have been unwilling to hold INDOT accountable for the wasteful spending, environmental damages, and abuse of private property rights, which are a result of the I-69 project.

Although this particular court ruling is in the state’s favor, it does not resolve the multitude of problems and obstacles still facing the new-terrain I-69 highway:

  • There is no funding available to complete the highway unless INDOT diverts funds from other projects around the state. There continues to be great need in Indiana for road and bridge repair funding – 4,000 deficient bridges statewide, $5.4 billion backlog of local road and bridge repairs.
  • For Section 4, Crane to Bloomington, the state has yet to receive the needed environmental permits. It also faces construction challenges in the rugged karst terrain of eastern Greene County and western Monroe County.
  • Environmental studies are not completed for Sections 5 and 6, from Bloomington to Indianapolis.
  • The project remains highly controversial from Bloomington to Indianapolis.  The Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council has formally opposed the routing of I-69 along SR 37 through Perry Township.
  • There are three other environmental legal cases still pending, as well as vigorous legal resistance by landowners to condemnation proceedings.

For more information contact:
Andrew Armstron, Environmental Law & Policy Center at 312-795-3738
Tim Maloney, Hoosier Environmental Council, tmaloney@hecweb.org or 812-369-8677
Thomas Tokarski, Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads at 812-825-9555

 

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