Monday, November 17, 2008

Maryland InterCounty Connector Clears Legal Hurdle

The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) and Environmental Defense, a national environmental group, have reached an agreement that clears the way for the ICC to continue without any further legal challenges. The ICC will link the I-270/I-370 corridor in Montgomery County with the I-95/US 1 corridor in Prince George's County starting in 2010. The terms of the agreement:

SHA will provide up to $1 million to retrofit diesel school buses in Montgomery County with exhaust systems that reduce emissions, and will work with the school system to develop a program to reduce idling.

SHA will also sponsor a three-year study that involves installing air quality monitors along a major highway selected for its similar characteristics to the ICC and I-95. The value is about $1 million.

In return, Environmental Defense Fund has withdrew its appeal of a U.S. District Court ruling from November 2007 where a judge ruled "there is no legal or equitable basis to prevent the InterCounty Connector from moving forward." The appeal is thought to be the final legal roadblock for the ICC. (WTOPNews)

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