Activists appeal second rail bridge permit

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff

Wild Idaho Rising Tide, an environmental activist organization, is challenging a state permit issued to BNSF’s proposed rail bridge expansion.

Filed in the First Judicial District Court of Idaho in Bonner County, the appeal requests a review “of the entire record, proceedings, findings of fact, conclusions of law, preliminary order and final order of this application, (hearing) case and permit.”

The appeal constructs its legal case on an argument that the permit, issued by Idaho Department of Lands, does not uphold the regulatory standard mandated by the Lake Protection Act and Rules for the Regulation of Beds, Waters, and Airspace over Navigable Lakes. It also questions the value the permit decision places on a U.S. Railroad land grant law, which the appeal claims is antiquated. According to Wild Idaho Rising Tide, the potential impacts of the bridge’s construction and operation to the local environment and economy demand a closer analysis of the state’s regulatory responsibility.

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