Judge Bakker said she intended to issue a written opinion "hopefully within the next couple of weeks.”

Environmentalists' lawsuit versus DNR awaits judge's decision

Suit hopes to prevent 'fracking' in Allegan State Game Area
Dan Pepper, Staff Writer

The opponents of fracking who packed an Allegan County courtroom Thursday, March 10, will await a written decision from a judge on whether a lawsuit challenging the oil and gas leases in the Allegan State Game Area can continue.

Circuit court Judge Margaret Zuzich Bakker held a hearing on a Michigan Department of Natural Resources motion to throw out the case, which was brought by Michigan Land and Water Defense to challenge the issuance of oil and gas leases in the Allegan State Game Area.

The environmental group filed the suit last year after losing a similar challenge in Barry County. That judge found for the DNR but ruled he didn’t have jurisdiction over any issues with leases in Allegan County.

After listening to arguments from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and the environmental group’s attorney, Bakker told the courtroom—packed past capacity—she would issue a written decision “...hopefully within the next couple of weeks.”

Contact Dan Pepper at dpepper@allegannews.com or at (269) 673-5534 or (269) 685-9571.

For full story, pick up a copy of the April 17 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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