In June 2007, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved a Tier 1 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for widening Interstate 81 through the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, despite significant objections from the National Trust and other preservation organizations. Significantly, FHWA invoked a new optional short statute of limitations for the Tier 1 decision, which allows only 180 days from the decision to file suit – a provision added in the SAFETEA-LU transportation reauthorization legislation passed in 2005. Following an unsuccessful attempt to persuade FHWA to withdraw its shortened statute of limitations for the Tier 1 decision, the Trust opted to join a lawsuit, which was filed by the Coalition for Smarter Growth, Shenandoah Valley Network, Scenic Virginia, Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club, and others in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia in December 2007.
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