Comments On An EIS Must Timely State The Significance Of The Alleged Mistake

Friday, February 23, 2018 5:22 am
March 2018 - Volume 46 Number 3

An environmental group lost its challenge to a federal agency decision to choose a particular corridor for a proposed highway because the negative impact of the alleged problem wasn’t raised during the commenting phase.

Facts: Karst Environmental Education and Protection, Inc. (Karst Environmental) challenged a decision by the Federal Highway Administration (Highway Administration) to build a connector road linking I-65 and U.S. 31 in Kentucky. The proposed route would cut across one of the country’s "best examples of karst topography." Karst topography is characterized by ponds, caves, sinkholes, and networks of underground streams and water basins. Some of these sinkholes are quite large; the court referenced one in the project area that was 2.24 acres and a second that was 1.63 acres. Storm water drains into these sinkholes and then into underground rivers beneath the proposed connector road. These sinkholes can flood when the drainage route out of them becomes clogged by debris or when the nearby Barren River floods.

The Highway Administration’s environmental impact sta[..]