SALT LAKE CITY — Those who want to stop a state government agency from putting in a road, or a private business from building a coal mine, may have to post a bond with a court.
House Bill 399, sponsored by Rep. Michael Noel, R-Kanab, was approved, 18-4, on the Senate’s second reading calendar. It now is on the Senate’s third reading calendar for further consideration.
The bill would head off “frivolous lawsuits,” like the one filed against the Utah Department of Transportation by the Sierra Club and others when Legacy Parkway was being constructed about 10 years ago, Noel said Tuesday in a committee meeting. It cost the state $400 million in delays and litigation.
Noel said environmental groups usually have more resources than do government agencies and businesses. Generally each agency or business that seeks a permit for roads or coal mining has gone through an extensive process to meet environmental guidelines, he said.