INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana environmentalists are suing to stop construction
of I-69 in southern Indiana.
Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads and the I-69 Accountability Project
said the road expansion would violate federal environmental laws. A lawyer
for the groups also says the project would threaten the Indiana Bat and
violate the federal Endangered Species Act.
The groups filed suit Monday in federal court in Indianapolis.
A spokesman for Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads said the group believes
the state highway department underestimated in its count of nearly 1,500
geologic features such as sinkholes, caves and springs in the path of the
latest approved section.
"I-69 should never have been routed through this extremely environmentally
sensitive area," Thomas Tokarski said.
The Indiana Department of Transportation completed an important
environmental review for the massive highway project last week. The
newly-approved stretch would run from the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center
An INDOT spokesman said Monday the agency was reviewing the complaint.
The highway project is meant to connect Evansville to Indianapolis. It has
been a centerpiece of Gov. Mitch Daniels’ 10-year transportation program.
This lawsuit, prepared by attorney Mick Harrison with support from GreenFire
Consulting LLC, asserts numerous violations of federal law by INDOT and the
Federal Highway Administration. The lawsuit alleges violations of the Clean
Air Act (CAA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), National Environmental Policy
Act (NEPA), the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) and the Transportation
Act. All of the alleged violations relate to the environmental impacts,
design, funding, and construction of the new-terrain I-69 interstate highway
Harrison said “In response to the Governor’s recent statement that I-69
would be built to Bloomington ‘whether they like it or not’-- and despite
the Governor’s earlier announcement that he was ‘throwing out the rule book’
in building I-69, INDOT and Governor Daniels must comply with federal law,
whether they like it or not.”
The entire complaint is posted at: