Oakland Airport Work Blocked

United Press International

A state appellate court Wednesday ordered the Port of Oakland to stop filling seasonal wetlands and ponds near Oakland International Airport as part of an expansion project.

The 1st District Court of Appeal order prevents the Port of Oakland from filling in 180 acres of South San Francisco Bay wetlands pending resolution of lawsuits charging that state and federal law was violated when port authorities went ahead with the project without an Environmental Impact Report.

State Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp sought the stay. It prevents the port from proceeding with wetlands fill until the appeals court has reviewed an Alameda Superior Court decision not to stop work on the project pending resolution of a court challenge. Trial on the challenge is scheduled to begin Feb. 3 in Alameda Superior Court.

Van de Kamp announced in September he would join the Golden Gate Audubon Society in opposing the expansion project. Elimination of irreplaceable resources such as the bay wetlands should not occur without first determing the environmental consequences, he said.

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