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Environmental Groups Lose I-69 Lawsuit

Indiana environmental groups have lost a lawsuit against the Indiana Department of Transportation to stop construction of the first section of I-69.

Indiana environmental groups have lost a lawsuit against the Indiana Department of Transportation to stop construction of the first section of I-69. The courts ruled in favor of INDOT, saying the project does not violate federal law.

Tim Maloney, senior policy director at the Hoosier Environmental Council, says one of the problems the plaintiffs raised in the lawsuit was that the state rigged the route selection process to fit its preferences.

Thomas Tokarski, president of Bloomington’s Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads (CARR) and one of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, says it’s not over yet. Tokarski says the lawsuit only addresses the legality and not the feasibility of the project, and that serious problems could still come up in further studies.

Tokarski says CARR and the other plaintiffs will look into the possibility of filing an appeal. Tokarski says it’s not too late to make the state change its mind on I-69, since studies have only been completed for the first of six sections of the proposed route, and the tier two studies are only half-way done. Tokarski says opposition to I-69 is strong, as more than 150 thousand Hoosiers have signed petitions against the road project–but it’s been hard to get state government to listen.

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