In their July 3, 2017 filing with the US Court of Appeals, Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail and co-plaintiffs opposed Maryland’s motion to “stay”, or reverse the District Court’s suspension of the Purple Line, finding that such a request has no merit, would not be in the public interest, and should be denied.

“Maryland fails to meet the substantive and procedural standards for such appeals, and, with this latest legal maneuver, seeks to make the harmful Purple Line a “fait accompli” instead of complying with the law,” said

Christine Real de Azua, co-plaintiff and member of the Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail Board.

The Maryland Transit Administration still refuses to undertake the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) ordered by the Court almost a year ago.  Maryland has failed to address the substantive expert submissions duly submitted by plaintiffs, and is unlikely to prevail on the merits.  Furthermore, the “injury” that Maryland claims it suffers because of the delay caused by the lawsuit, is in fact entirely self-inflicted since Maryland signed the contract to proceed with the Purple Line months after the lawsuit had been duly filed in federal court. As Judge Leon made abundantly clear from the information he elicited from MTA’s attorney during the hearing he held June 15 [link], Maryland even then failed to include in the contract a precautionary escape clause for the State in case the litigation were to go against it.

By contrast, Purple Line construction would unleash certain and irretrievable harm on the public and the environment, including and not limited to high levels of stressful noise nearly round the clock and the loss of 48 acres of forest inside the Beltway and of the clean air, clean water and public health benefits that forest provides. The public interest is not served by letting harmful construction proceed in the absence of full review of the NEPA issue under appeal and the “hard look” that the National Environmental Policy Act requires.

To read the July 3 filing click see below.

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