SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) – Individuals allege that a proposed highway project in California is threatening old-growth redwood trees.
Bess Bair, Trisha Lee Lotus, Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Protection Information Center, et al. filed a complaint on Nov. 2 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against California Department of Transportation and its director Malcolm Dougherty citing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and Administrative Procedure Act.
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege the California Department of Transportation is "attempting to plow through a destructive and needless highway widening project that will both waste millions of public money and likely destroy one of the last remaining irreplaceable stands of ancient old-growth Redwoods, without studying the severe and permanent environmental consequences." The suit states the proposed widening project is in the Richardson Grove State Park.
The plaintiffs hold California Department of Transportation and Dougherty responsible because the defendants allegedly failed to consider the numerous alternatives that existed, failed to consider or explain the proposed project’s purpose or need, attempted to complete the project without studying the environmental consequences of the project.
The plaintiffs seek judgment against defendants, declaratory and injunctive relief, costs of suit, attorney's fees, expert witness fees, and further equitable or legal relief as the court deems just. They are represented by Joseph W. Cotchett, Philip L. Gregory and Paul N. McCloskey of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP in Burlingame, California; Stuart G. Gross of Gross & Klein LLP in San Francisco, California; and Sharon E. Duggan in Oakland, California.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California case number 1:17-cv-06419