Legal woes for Legacy Parkway

 

UTAH

After the federal government signed off on the construction of a 14-mile highway along Utah's Wasatch Front in early January, a coalition of environmentalists and smart-growth advocates, including Salt Lake City's controversial Democratic mayor, filed two separate lawsuits.

Utahns for Better Transportation contends that the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act by approving the four-lane Legacy Parkway. The Sierra Club filed a second lawsuit against the agencies alleging violations of the Clean Air Act.

Construction of the $423 million parkway, which would run west of Interstate 15 along the edge of the Great Salt Lake from Farmington to Salt Lake City, is slated to begin this spring (HCN, 9/25/00: A highway hits a speed bump). It's the first phase of a proposed 130-mile highway paralleling the Wasatch Front.

Besides concerns over the destruction of 114 acres of wetlands and increased sprawl and air pollution, opponents say the highway's planners failed to consider commuter rail as a viable alternative.

Legacy supporters, including Utah's Republican Gov. Mike Leavitt, and a host of state and local officials from Davis and Salt Lake counties, call the lawsuit frivolous. They say a two-pronged approach involving mass transit and another highway is needed to solve the booming Wasatch Front's traffic woes.

Supporters are also blasting Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson for joining one of the lawsuits. The Salt Lake City Council has distanced itself from Anderson on the issue, and Leavitt calls the mayor's participation "a bad decision."

In response, Anderson told the Salt Lake Tribune, "We need leadership on a state, county and local level that will commit itself to mass transit first and more highways as absolutely the last resort."

High Country News Classifieds
  • CHAPTER DIRECTOR - IDAHO SIERRA CLUB
    Idaho could lead the nation in the transition to clean energy, and the Idaho Sierra Club is committed to making that happen. We seek to...
  • SEASONAL SAN JUAN RANGERS
    Seeking experienced crew members to patrol Colorado's most iconic mountain wilderness.
  • ENDANGERED SPECIES STAFF SCIENTIST
    The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a staff scientist to advocate for the conservation of endangered species. General position overview: The position will involve working...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY - ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM
    The Center for Biological Diversity - a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of imperiled plants, animals and wild places - seeks a dynamic...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a Staff Attorney to join our team of attorneys, scientists, campaigners who are working to protect America's public lands...
  • SOUTHWEST CONSERVATION ADVOCATE
    The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a Southwest Conservation Advocate to join our team of attorneys, scientists and campaigners who are working to protect America's...
  • OCEANS PROGRAM CAMPAIGNER
    The Center for Biological Diversity seeks an experienced campaigner for its oceans program. The aim of the position is to campaign for the protection of...
  • CLIMATE LAW INSTITUTE ATTORNEY
    The Center for Biological Diversity's Climate Law Institute is looking to add an attorney to its team and will consider applicants at both staff attorney...
  • FULL-TIME CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR
    The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a full-time Campaign Director in our Climate Law Institute to join our campaign for progressive, urgent government action to...
  • WESTERN WATER PROJECT MANAGER
    National Wildlife Federation is hiring NM-based position focused on riparian corridors, watershed health. Learn more and apply online: https://www.nwf.org/about-us/careers
  • ASSOCIATE PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Position Title: Associate Program Director Location: New Mexico; flexible in state Position reports to: Senior Program Director Position Closes: March 13, 2020 GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The...
  • DEAN, W. A. FRANKE COLLEGE OF FORESTRY AND CONSERVATION, UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA
    Dean, W. A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, apply http://bit.ly/2548umjobs. AA/EEO/ADA/Veterans Preference Employer
  • GRAPHIC DESIGNER
    Western Resource Advocates (WRA) seeks a creative and driven graphic design professional to design high quality print and digital collateral. The Graphic Designer will bring...
  • STEWARDSHIP SPECIALIST
    San Isabel Land Protection Trust seeks experienced person to manage its 133 conservation easements in south-central Colorado.
  • CAMPAIGN REPRESENTATIVE
    Sierra Club's Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign is hiring an experienced campaigner to lead our work challenging the oil and fracked gas industry on the Gulf...
  • AG LANDS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Oregon Agricultural Trust (OAT) seeks passionate relationship builder experienced in coordinating agricultural conservation easement transactions.
  • REMOTE SITKA ALASKA FLOAT HOUSE VACATION RENTAL
    Vacation rental located in calm protected waters 8 miles from Sitka, AK via boat with opportunities to fish and view wildlife. Skiff rental also available.
  • FINANCE DIRECTOR
    Mountain Studies Inst (MSI) is hiring 4+ positions: Finance Director; Coms/Engagmnt Mngr; Dev/Engagmnt Dir; Americorps vol
  • COMMUNICATIONS AND ENGAGEMENT MANAGER
    Mountain Studies Inst (MSI) is hiring 4+ positions: Finance Director; Dev/Engagement Dir; Coms/Engagement Mngr; & Americorps volunteer
  • SEASONAL TRAIL CREW LEADERS
    Lead the nation's premier volunteer-based trail crew programs on the spectacular Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. This is a great career-building opportunity for rising professionals....