Federal Court Upholds Cowlitz Casino EIS
December 12, 2014

In a long awaited decision, a U.S. District judge ruled that the NEPA Environmental Impact Statement prepared for the Cowlitz Casino adequately and properly assessed the environmental impacts of the proposed project and recommended appropriate mitigation. The proposed project involves trust acquisition by the United States of a 152 acre site in southern Washington state for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. The Tribe proposed constructing a casino, hotel, cultural center, elder housing and tribal offices on the property. The EIS, prepared by Analytical Environmental Services, assessed potential impacts to traffic, air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, socioeconomics, and other resources as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). After an exhaustive environmental review by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the project was approved. It is anticipated that the BIA will take the land into federal trust in early 2015.

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