For a second time, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a request to block construction on the Port Mackenzie Rail Extension, which will link the main line of the Alaska Railroad to Port Mackenzie in Alaska.
The order was issued in San Francisco, denying an emergency appeal by Cook Inlet Keeper, Sierra Club and Alaska Survival.
In mid-February, Cook Inlet Keeper lost in federal court in Anchorage, Alaska, on its request for an injunction on construction, when U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline ruled in favor of the 32-mile rail link.
The environmental groups can file a similar request on a regular timeline to halt construction in the 9th Circuit, despite the emergency motion being denied.
This summer, four segments of the rail embankment will be under construction.
Beistline has not yet ruled on the merits of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to issue a permit approving construction of the rail link in wetlands.
The 9th Circuit has ruled on the merits of the rail project already regarding a different federal agency, the Surface Transportation Board. In January, the 9th Circuit panel approved the environmental impact statement to mitigate impacts on wetlands.