September 2, 2014

State of Kansas weighs in on intermodal

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt weighed in on the Intermodal project last week filing a brief with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver asking justices to reject a lawsuit to block construction of the project.
The lawsuit, filed by environmental groups, including Hillsdale Environmental Loss Protection (HELP) and the National Resource Defense Council, challenges the approval of an environmental permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers.
A federal district court in Kansas City has sided with the Corps, allowing the project to proceed, but the environmental group has appealed that ruling.
“Kansas has established the necessary standards to protect the health and safety of its citizens and the neighboring states. Kansas has met all the requirements…,” Schmidt wrote in his brief to the court.
Mark Duggan, an attorney for HELP, said he will file a brief reply to the A.G.’s brief, and then they’ll wait for a ruling from the court.
The A.G’s Office, Duggan said, doesn’t have the automatic right to file a brief on behalf of the project. Instead, he said, Schmidt’s office filed a request to do so and sent the brief as an attachment.
According to a press release from the A.G.’s Office, Schmidt’s brief specifically objects to attempts the intermodal project’s opponents to have the Court apply California air-quality standards to a Kansas project.
““Recognizing the important public policy considerations behind air pollution control, [Kansas law] firmly places the decision to impose stricter standards than provided by [federal law] in the hands of the Kansas Legislature – not the State of California,” Schmidt wrote.
But Duggan said Schmidt’s argument is a red herring.
“The plaintiffs in this case have never argued that,” Duggan said. “The state of Kansas position strikes me a little bit as grandstanding.”
Duggan said HELP is asking the 10th Circuit to require the Army Corps of Engineers to do a more thorough environmental assessment.
“They’re required to do that under the Clean Water Act, and they did not do that,” Duggan said.
Attorneys for the environmental groups will file their final briefs by Dec. 12, and then it’s a waiting game.
There is no timetable for when the case may be heard, or even if the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments.

Comments

  1. Judith Rogers says:

    I pretty much know how this will come out and the people will suffer because of it…………this project represents the worst of the worst and in so many ways but if it does doesn’t tell you what the corrupt, worthless politicians stand for, then nothing will………….

  2. Re: "words" says:

    Now, whose “…words tell you what I can’t even begin to tell you about their lack of character”?

  3. State of Affairs says:

    #1–Edgerton residents did not get to vote to have or not to have the intermodal.
    #2–Hear that there are 2 options for the residents to pay for the water set-up for the intermodal–one is an additional $12 a month onto the already high water fees; and the other one is for the residents to pay an additional $174 a month.
    #3–Hear that the area citizens will be responsible for moving and setting up new electrical poles. Each pole to cost $2,000 to $10,000 which KCP&L will pass onto its customers.
    #4–When Warren Buffet bought BNSF, people had to give up their investments in the company. Oldsters had planned to leave the investments in their wills. With the forced buy out, the oldsters now have taxes to pay on considerable capital gains over the years. But, oh how nice, they are being given 2 years to pay off the taxes on their capital gains.
    And, Warren Buffet goes on national TV, advocating to give to charity. What is he going to do for the residents of Edgerton? (besides wiping them out financially?)

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