Construction on Maryland’s Purple Line is no longer under a “stop-in-place” order. Lawsuits forced work to be put on pause, but on April 13 a federal judge dismissed the third and final lawsuit.
The plaintiff in the case—Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail, Chevy Chase resident Leonard Scensny and former Chevy Chase resident John Fitzgerald—was accusing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of allowing construction crews to release dredge and fill into local streams. The plaintiff accused construction of permanently affecting a half-acre of wetlands and 5,108 linear feet of streams. The group believed expanding and improving existing bus service served as a less invasive solution.
U.S. District Judge James Bredar said the plaintiffs failed to show that the Corps overlooked a superior alternative to improve east-west transit in the Maryland suburbs that caused less damage to wetlands and waterways. The plaintiff also failed to show the work was illegal under the Clean Water Act.
Bredar believes the Purple Line construction work is the best option in terms of the environment.
With the decision final, construction can now proceed on the 16-mile light rail project, which will connect Bethesda to New Carrollton.
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