Court Hears Case On Treated Wastewater For Arizona Ski Resort

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court is considering arguments that challenge the planned use of treated wastewater to make snow at an Arizona ski resort.

Attorneys for the Save the Peaks Coalition presented their appeal Monday to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. They told the court the U.S. Forest Service needs to do a more thorough analysis of the health risks.

The coalition is appealing a 2010 lower court ruling that says the Forest Service adequately considered the environmental impacts before approving the snowmaking plan at the Snowbowl resort near Flagstaff.

Government attorneys argue that the plaintiffs haven’t specified what information they want in the analysis.

More than a dozen tribes consider the mountain sacred. American Indian tribes argued unsuccessfully in a separate case that the plan violated religious freedom.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

  • Jon Stewart

    I hope the Judges rule in favor of the Save the Peaks group. I was at the hearing today and it was very clear that the USDA Forest Service, AZ Snowbowl, and Arizona Dept of Environmental Quality all have not adequately & thoroughly discussed or researched the impacts of skiers ingesting man-made snow made from treated sewage. Simply putting your wet gloves in your mouth while you are on the ski lift is exposure. Allowing this plan to move forward without a reasonable thorough discussion on the impacts to human health would be a travesty of justice. Especially with science revealing that snow made with treated sewage would contain antibiotic resistant genes (Superbugs). I hope it does not take someone getting sick from ingesting this sewage snow to bring to light the lack of actual research that was not conducted to protect human health. As a snowboarder I can image involuntarily ingesting this sewage snow by catching my snowboard edge and face planting. Those with comprised immune systems such as elderly, youth and those involved in special olympics should all take notice of the ninth circuit ruling as they will be the one’s with the most potential for negative impact. It is known that stomach bacteria replicates about every 20 minutes and if an antibiotic resistant gene is ingested and merges its DNA into someone’s gut bacteria that person would be infected pretty quickly. If the Ninth Circuit Judges allows this lack of a thorough human health impact discussion to fall through the cracks, it will open up the USDA, Snowbowl and the City of Flagstaff (as the official water agent) for a major lawsuit. Which ultimately means we as tax payers will be flipping the bill because AZ Snowbowl will just file for bankruptcy leaving tax payers holding the bag.

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