TOPEKA – (November 23, 2011) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today asked the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to reject a lawsuit that attempts to block construction of a new multi-million dollar intermodal transportation project near Edgerton in Johnson County.
Schmidt filed a brief with the Denver-based federal appeals court asking it to approve a decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to issue a permit for the project. The permit has been challenged in a lawsuit brought by an environmental group opposed to the project. A federal district court in Kansas City has sided with the Corps, allowing the project to proceed, but the environmental group has appealed that ruling.
“The project has the potential to contribute hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy and place thousands of Kansans back to work,” Schmidt wrote. “When completed and fully operational, the Intermodal Facility is expected to create approximately 8,700 new jobs, resulting in significant employment opportunities for state residents and substantial economic returns for the state.”
Schmidt’s brief specifically objects to an attempt by the project’s opponents to have the Court apply to the Kansas project air-quality standards and requirements that have been implemented by California under California law.
“Recognizing the important public policy considerations behind air pollution control, [Kansas law] firmly places the decision to impose stricter standards than provided by [federal law] in the hands of the Kansas Legislature – not the State of California,” Schmidt wrote. “Kansas has established the necessary standards to protect the health and safety of its citizens and the neighboring states. Kansas has met all the requirements...”
Schmidt was joined in the filing by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.