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Cahaba Riverkeeper back in court over lawsuit


The battle is over but maybe not the war for some Alabama environmentalists.

The group Cahaba Riverkeeper will return to court in Birmingham after a win before the Alabama Supreme Court. The justices agreed that the Birmingham Water Works has an obligation to protect 6,000 acres of land surrounding the Cahaba River and Lake Purdy.

David Butler is the Cahaba Riverkeeper. He emphasized that the Water Works failed to appoint a third party.

“The settlement agreement required that they adopt true conservation easements on the property that surrounds Lake Purdy," he said. "To date, they haven’t done that. Even today, they still haven’t complied with that part of the settlement agreement.”

The Water Works entered into a conservation easement agreement in 2001. It requires that they appoint a third party to ensure the land is not developed.

Butler emphasized that conservation is in the best interest of Water Works customers.

“These lands, the acreage we’re trying to protect, that land was bought with ratepayer money. The ratepayers have already spent the money to protect this land and protect the integrity of our source of drinking water," he said. "To go back and undo that now is against the interest of the ratepayers.”

Libby Foster is a news intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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