Judge delays decision on halting BNSF construction - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Judge delays decision on halting BNSF construction

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La Crosse County Circuit Court Judge Scott Horne will have another month to decide whether to issue an injunction on the behalf of a local citizens advocacy group, which would temporarily halt construction on the second BNSF rail line through the marsh.

C.A.R.S, or Citizens Acting for Rail Safety filed a civil lawsuit against the DNR this spring, claiming the department failed to follow the law and proper procedure before issuing BNSF its permit to begin construction in the marsh.

Hoping to expedite the process and get a ruling before construction is complete in September, the group filed for an injunction at the beginning of June.

At Monday's motion hearing, the group hoped to hear Judge Horne rule in its favor, however after hearing arguments from the petitioners, the DNR, and BNSF, he decided to postpone that decision until July 22.

"As long as we're able to put a hold on the permit at some point during the construction process so that the DNR can do the appropriate analysis and issue the permit with appropriate conditions, that's a victory for us," Sarah Williams, of Midwest Environmental Advocacy, said.

Williams is representing the petitioners in their civil suit.

A final court date set for September will represent the chance for Judge Horne to make a ruling on the merits of the overall case.

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