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West Palm Beach suing 5 federal agencies over State Road 7 expansion project

Posted at 6:05 PM, Sep 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-21 05:45:55-04

It's back to court for the city of West Palm Beach and the State Road 7 project 

The city is suing five federal agencies over the planned expansion. 

RELATED: Army Corps authorizes State Road 7 project

The suit claims the State Road 7 project is unnecessary and environmentally harmful; and by approving this project, these agencies violated multiple environmental laws that will put wildlife at risk. 

“They're presenting the science as they believe it. Unfortunately the science they're presenting is getting knocked down in the courts," said  Randy Smith with the South Florida Water Management District.

That agency issued an environmental permit for the protect, and Smith says it's all been done by the book. 

The city has unsuccessfully mounted multiple legal challenges and Smith says those millions of dollars in legal fees are piling up. 

“Taxpayers are gonna be footing some enormous bills for an effort that should've been over long ago,” he says.

Bill Newgent sees it a different way. 

“A million dollars, $2 million pales in comparison to what we have at risk,” he says. 

His City Voice podcast has focused on the State Road 7 issues. 

Newgent says the environmental concerns are very real. 

“Think of the impact that would have on property values, on businesses, on our health and welfare in West Palm Beach,” Newgent says.  

He says despite the city's legal setbacks, the fight against expansion isn't over.  “The people that want this to happen, want this to go through what have you believe that it's too late. It's absolutely not too late."

The West Palm Beach mayor has been very outspoken on this issue in the past.

A city spokesperson told NewsChannel 5 because it’s a pending legal matter, she would not discuss the city’s lawsuit.