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Federal Court Says Purple Line Can Move Forward

Good news! Last week, a federal appellate court ruled Wednesday the Purple Line can move forward despite an ongoing lawsuit against the project, the Washington Business Journal reports.

The ruling gives Maryland a green light to go after $900 million in federal grants for the $5.6 billion construction project — funding the Trump administration has proposed cutting, though the administration has said in budget documents it is still considering federal funding for the Purple Line.

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Three judges of the Washington, D.C., court ruled in an appeal filed in an ongoing lawsuit that Maryland has “satisfied the stringent requirements” required for the court to grant a stay of U.S. District Judge Richard Leon’s August ruling. That ruling revoked the project’s federal Record of Decision, which is the federal environmental approval needed for the project to move forward.

Maryland officials have said vacating the project’s federal approval has prevented the state from signing a full funding grant agreement with the U.S. government. Signing the agreement would allow the state access to the $900 million in federal funds proposed for the light-rail line’s construction.

The appeals court ruling “will allow construction to commence and we will continue to do everything we possibly can to keep the Purple Line moving forward,” Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh tweeted last week.

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