DAILY SUN STAFF
Arizona Daily Sun
07 July 2010
representing snowmaking opponents has asked a judge to
temporarily prohibit construction at Arizona Snowbowl.
Shanker filed a request for a temporary restraining order on
Tuesday with Judge Mary Murguia, in the U.S. District Court for
The action comes
after Friday's decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to
allow snowmaking and related construction on the Peaks, an
approval that becomes effective next week.
clients failed to prevail in court in arguing that making snow
with reclaimed wastewater on the sacred San Francisco Peaks
violated their religious freedom.
But Shanker has
another court hearing next week with new plaintiffs to contest
the potential health and safety risks of using reclaimed
wastewater on ski slopes.
To win a
temporary retraining order, Shanker must prove either that he is
likely to win this case, or that irreversible changes (logging,
for example) will result if construction proceeds before his
case is heard.
The USDA permit
also allows snowmaking with potable water, and Snowbowl owner
Eric Borowsky has said he will ask the Flagstaff City Council
for potable water, which would require the council's approval of
a new contract. The council already has approved the sale of
reclaimed wastewater to Snowbowl.
The sale of
potable water by city officials, will be discussed at length at
a series of public meetings, starting with the city's water
commission on July 29.
Snowbowl could tap directly into the city's potable water
pipeline system, which carries a higher price tag than reclaimed
wastewater. USDA officials have indicated they will attempt to
underwrite the higher costs, but they have not made public
If the Flagstaff
City Council rejects the sale of potable water for snowmaking,
Borowsky could return to reclaimed water, pending the outcome of
the current lawsuit against it.
So far, only the
president of the Navajo Nation has stated, in documents to the
Agriculture Department, that potable water would be less
offensive on the mountains 13 tribes consider sacred.
official has publicly said potable water would be a better
Claimants in the
reclaimed water case filed last September were the Save the
Peaks Coalition and Kristin Huisinga, Clayson Benally, Sylvan
Grey, Don Fanning, Jeneda Benally, Frederica Hall, Berta
Benally, Rachel Tso and Lisa Tso.