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Bay Group Allowed To Challenge Reservoir
December 2, 2008

According to published reports, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, an environmental group, will be allowed to challenge a state decision that aided plans for a much-debated reservoir in King William County. The recent decision by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals of Virginia has overturned a 2007 Richmond Circuit Court decision that had previously barred the group from pursuing the challenge. In its decision, the Richmond court had stated that the group did not have the legal right to mount the challenge. The recent decision by the appeals court said the group did have the legal right to mount a challenge.

The Foundation is challenging a decision by the State Water Control Board made during a 2006 meeting that extended the time deadline for filing state-required studies for the $235 million reservoir. That decision allowed Newport News more time to conduct the state-required studies and ultimately to move forward with the project.

The Foundation contends the State Water Control Board illegally shut the public out of its decision by not holding a comment period before the meeting. State officials contend that the board’s action was legal.

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