Monday, December 05, 2005

AQUA and PET File Lawsuit to Stop Toll Ways

Aquifer Guardians in Urban Areas (AQUA) and People for Efficient Transportation (PET) filed a lawsuit Friday to request a environmental impact statement for the San Antonio section of the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC). Read the release here.

The last environmental assessment done in the area was in 1984 before the TTC was started, but ground broke to actually build the "tolled freeways" last week with no impact statement being done.

Annalisa Peace puts it best when she describes the area and the reason for the lawsuit

The Edwards is a karst aquifer and therefore is highly vulnerable to water pollution because surface water quickly enters the aquifer through recharge features without significant filtration. Chlorinated solvents, toxic metals, and pesticides are regularly detected in the Edwards Aquifer, at times in concentrations that threaten human health and sensitive plants and animals. Many of these pollutants, such as benzene, are common components of highway run-off.

GEAA and AQUA has done amazing work in their short lives to protect the Edwards Aquifer. They have successfully advocated two different bonds to protect recharge land and Peace and Richard Alles were recently named activists of the year by the San Antonio Current.

Another group fighting the TTC is Corridor Watch. For more information on the TTC and its negative impacts visit Corridor Watch or check out B and B (a great environmental blog).

Here is the story in the Express News and Kuff has this post with some links of the greatest hits on the TTC. Something that just hit me is the possible ramification on this lawsuit too. NO impact analysis has been done yet, and if AQUA and PET win this, it could tie up the TTC well into next year.

The route is expansive to say the least, and an impact analysis would have to be done for the entire state if the state loses. This has the makings to be a huge issue for the 2006 election cycle because the municpal and county governments will be campaign contrary to the wishes of some state rep, state senator, and statewide races.


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