Purple Line wins court case

Maryland's Purple Line project has won another court case, paving the way for the scheme to finally get underway.

The federal appeals court has overruled a lower court's decision to block the project under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Purple Line proponents successfully argued that NEPA was not intended to be used as a tool to endlessly delay infrastructure and its use in this case had been an abuse of the Act.

The appeals court agreed, rejecting the claims of a group of citizen activists that had been challenging the project since 2014 and had claimed that changes to ridership figures meant that a new environmental impact analysis was necessary.

However, the judge ruled: “NEPA does not require agencies to needlessly repeat their environmental impact analyses every time such information comes to light.”

The move means that the Purple Line, which finally received federal funding earlier this year, can now continue at pace.

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), which gave evidence in support of the Purple Line at the court hearing, welcomed the decision.