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Federal defendants say Igloo preservation group's argument without merit

Preservation Pittsburgh's comparison of the planned demolition of the Civic Arena to other projects such as the disposal of contaminated water from Three Mile Island fails because there is no significant federal activity connected to the demolition project, lawyers for the federal government argue in their latest bid to have the lawsuit thrown out.

The group trying to save the arena sued seven local and federal officials and is asking U.S. District Judge David Cercone to block the Sports & Exhibition Authority's project on the grounds that the Federal Highway Administration first needs to conduct an environmental assessment of the project.

"Plaintiff's only claim of federal involvement is the mere exchange of correspondence between the SEA and FHWA and reference to SEA's unsuccessful attempts to secure federal funding," the government says in its response to the group's argument that the federal government is involved in the project.

Cercone has scheduled a hearing on Sept. 13 on Preservation Pittsburgh's motion for a preliminary injunction.

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