From WILL PARRISH
The Clean Water Act lawsuit that aims to halt construction of the California Department of Transportation’s current version of the Willits Bypass will be heard in a San Francisco federal court on June 21st. Filed by the Willits Environmental Center, the Redwood chapter of the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Environmental Protection Information Center against CalTrans, the Federal Highway Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the suit aims to compel these agencies to examine less damaging and costly ways of addressing regional traffic problems and traffic problems in Willits, and to examine the legitimacy of CalTrans’ mitigation plan.
Federal Judge Jeffrey White denied a preliminary injunction last September that would have halted work on the project, which constituted a kind of preliminary ruling on the case. White has left open the possibility of ruling otherwise if the plaintiffs provide new evidence that he finds convincing. Following the hearing, he has up to 90 days to render a decision. The ruling appears likely to go in CalTrans’ favor.
Meanwhile, the Bypass can now lay claim to having inspired perhaps the first-ever lawyer-turned-tree-sitter.