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Patuxent Riverkeeper v. Maryland Department of the Environment

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20312
Nos. 139, (Md., 09/30/2011)

Maryland's highest court held that an environmental group has standing to challenge the state environmental agency's issuance of a nontidal wetlands permit for a development project. The permit allows a town to construct a road extension and stream crossing in order to provide primary access into the development. The group argued that the town failed to demonstrate that the proposed road extension and stream crossing had no practicable alternative that would avoid or result in less adverse impact on nontidal wetlands. But the circuit court held that the group lacked standing. The group then petitioned the state's highest court for a writ of certiorari on the issue. It held that the group does have standing to initiate a judicial review action because one of its members had alleged sufficient harm to his aesthetic, recreational, and economic interests in connection with the issuance of the permit at issue. Accordingly, the motions to dismiss for lack of standing should not have been granted.