Howard’s blog

#DitchTheIlliana: Please Donate to Support ELPC’s Public Interest Litigation to Stop the Illiana Tollway and Protect the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

The boondoggle Illiana Tollway is on the ropes. ELPC’s public interest attorneys are in Federal Court and State Court fighting back against the Illinois Department of Transportation and Indiana Department of Transportation in order to bring the Illiana Tollway to a well-deserved end. This litigation is expensive, but necessary and effective. Please make a donation to support ELPC’s effective public interest litigation to win these federal court and state court lawsuits that can stop the proposed Illiana Tollway and protect the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.

FEDERAL LAWSUIT

Midewin_Illiana_250x330ELPC’s public interest attorneys are representing the Midewin Heritage Association, Openlands and Sierra Club Illinois challenging the approval of the flawed “Tier 2” Environmental Impact Statement by the Federal Highway Administration and the Illinois and Indiana departments of transportation.

The Tier 2 EIS is based on the very circular logic that the Illiana is needed to accommodate growth that would be generated by building the Illiana. If this sounds familiar, that’s because ELPC attorneys won a major legal victory invalidating the “Tier 1” EIS on the same grounds last year. The environmental studies are “tiered” because, generally, the first one selects a project site and the second one determines more specifics about that site. ELPC is arguing that the Tier 2 EIS is illegal both because it’s based on the already-invalidated Tier 1 analysis and the illogical assumptions about population growth and traffic patterns. ELPC’s legal briefs in this case are due in June.  ELPC’s public interest environmental attorneys are working hard to win. Please donate to support this important ELPC litigation to stop the Illiana Tollway boondoggle, support sound regional planning and protect the Midewin National Tallgras Prairie.

STATE LAWSUIT

Homepage_MidewinIllianaBisonELPC’s public interest attorneys are representing Openlands and Sierra Club challenging the Illiana Tollway being illegally included in the “GO TO 2040” regional plan.

For a project to be included in the regional plan, state law requires approval from the CMAP Board (which voted no), and federal law requires sign-off from the MPO Policy Committee (which voted yes).  Including the Illiana Tollways in the GO TO 2040 Plan, even though the CMAP Board voted against it, violates the Illinois Regional Planning Act. ELPC has filed a motion for summary judgment in this case. A final round of briefs is due in June, and we will be urging the court to uphold and enforce Illinois’ regional planning law. Please donate to support this important ELPC litigation to stop the Illiana Tollway boondoggle, support sound regional planning and protect the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.

The proposed new Illiana Tollway proposal is fiscally irresponsible, contradicts sound regional planning, and would harm the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. We have won in the court of public opinion with your active support, and now we need to keep winning in the courts of law. Please make a donation to support ELPC public interest environmental litigation to #DitchTheIlliana.

 

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