FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The three people who have filed a court motion to stop the state from issuing right-of-way permits for construction of the Northern Intertie have offered to settle the case.
Natural Resources Commissioner Pat Pourchot was expected to respond to the settlement offer May 8.
Harry Bader, an attorney for the three, said they will drop the appeal if the state agrees to two stipulations.
First, the state must stipulate that fens, a special type of wetlands found in the Tanana Flats, are navigable waters and therefore are considered public trust resources.
Second, the state must limit the Golden Valley Electric Association from building towers or any support structures on the fens. Protection of the fens was an issue during the state's public permitting process.
Dropping the lawsuit would allow Golden Valley to build the 100-mile Healy-to-Fairbanks power line on schedule if the state agrees, Bader said.
The settlement offer was viewed skeptically by utility attorney John Burns, who accused Bader's clients of ''ransoming the Intertie project in an effort to extract a stipulation from the state.''
Superior Court Judge Ralph Beistline will hear the appeal and has yet to make a decision on any motions.
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