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
  • MEMBERSHIP MANAGER
    For more information visit www. wyofile.com/careers/
  • THRIVING LOCAL HEALTH FOOD STORE FOR SALE
    Turn-key business opportunity. Successful well established business with room to grow. Excellent highway visibility.
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    For more information, visit www.wyofile.com/careers/
  • SONORAN INSTITUTE, CEO
    Chief Executive Officer Tucson, Arizona ABOUT SONORAN INSTITUTE Since 1990, the Sonoran Institute has brought together diverse interests to successfully forge effective and enduring conservation...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION OPENING www.westernlaw.org/about-us/clinic-interns-careers The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a high-impact, nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with a 27-year legacy using...
  • PROJECT MANAGER
    Position Summary Join our Team at the New Mexico Land Conservancy! We're seeking a Project Manager who will work to protect land and water across...
  • SEEKING PROPERTY FOR BISON HERD
    Seeking additional properties for a herd of 1,000 AUM minimum. Interested in partnering with landowners looking to engage in commercial and/or conservation bison ranching. Location...
  • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT AND MARKETING
    High Country News seeks a Director of Product and Marketing to join our senior team during an exciting chapter of innovation and growth. This individual...
  • OUTREACH DIRECTOR
    Upper Missouri Waterkeeper seeks an Outreach Director to play a key role designing and leading activities and initiatives that engage citizens in water resource decisionmaking,...
  • WILDLIFE HAVEN
    Beautiful acreage with Teton Creek flowing through it. Springs and ponds, lots of trees, moose and deer. Property has barn. Easy access. approx. 33 acres.
  • ARIZONA CONSERVATION CORPS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Arizona Conservation Corps is seeking a Program Director in Flagstaff or Tucson
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...