Federal Judge concludes AAF project not likely to move forward on the Treasure Coast without bond financing. Judge Cooper denied DOT and AAF's motions to dismiss Martin County's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) claim.
This conclusion, based on information and documents obtained by Martin and Indian River County attorneys in lawsuits to invalidate the federal government's decision to approve tax-exempt private activity (PAB) bond financing for AAF, led Judge Christopher R. Cooper to reconsider his earlier decision that the Counties will not be harmed if bond financing is not available to AAF. Without the PAB financing, Judge Cooper now believes it is likely that Phase II of the AAF project (West Palm Beach to Orlando) might not be constructed. His 39-page Memorandum Opinion acknowledges that the Counties have presented sufficient evidence to establish that construction and operation of the AAF project will cause them to suffer a variety of environmental harm to their residents. For this reason, the Judge has ordered the lawsuits to proceed.
ATTACHED SEE THE FULL MEMORANDUM: lengthy but worth reading. You will note that some of the information in the Memorandum Opinion is redacted (blacked out) to maintain the confidentiality of some AAF financial information.
Excerpts from TCPALM article, August 17, 2017.
Judge Cooper notes that in its application for PAB financing, AAF described the bonds as "the linchpin for completing our project" and described approval of the PABs as "a crucial factor in ensuring our project is financed and completed."
Although AAF insisted to the Court that it would proceed with conventional financing or some other source of funding if PABs were not available, Judge Cooper found that "information adduced by [the counties] through jurisdictional discovery raises legitimate questions about [AAF's] commitment to [completing the project] without PABs."
Full article here: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/shaping-our-future/all-aboard-florida/countie...