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Opponents to Intermodal Hub File Suit in Federal Court
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Credit:  Michael McClure
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An environmental coalition filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against a plan by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) and a San Diego-based developer to build a new intermodal center in southwestern Johnson County.

The suit was filed in Federal Court at Kansas City, Kan., and aims to force the railroad and federal regulators to conduct more extensive studies on the environmental impact of the intermodal center.

The proposed site lies near the city of Gardner and along BNSF‘s Transcon mainline and Interstate 35, a major national north-south highway. The proposal calls for the development of a more than $700 million, 1,200-acre intermodal center and a logistics park made up of warehouses, distribution centers and shipping points.

The lawsuit is a response to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recent action in issuing a special water permit that allows the railroad to re-route a stream at the site.

Details of the lawsuit weren’t immediately available at press time, but Connie Chapman, a member of the coalition, said she doubts that the lawsuit will stop the development.

“What we‘re hoping is to give the people in the area enough time to fully understand what they‘re facing,” Chapman said.

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