Airport expansion: A German court rejected an emergency appeal to stop construction work on a new runway and terminal at Frankfurt Airport, close to Kelsterbach Forest. Environmentalists and 13 towns had sued the state of Hesse to halt the expansion project for reasons ranging from nighttime noise to threat to wildlife. The US $5.18 million (4 billion) expansion project involves cutting down 162 hectares of forest and resettling protected animals. The runway will be used exclusively for landings in view of noise abatement restrictions.
Status quo in Utah: A US federal judge on January 17 halted the Bush administration's efforts to open 44,515.49 hectares of federal land in Utah in the United States to oil and gas exploration. The court ruled that the interior department had not done sufficient environmental analysis, particularly of how air quality might be affected. The leases to the land parcels had been auctioned on December 19. The auction prompted environmentalists to file a lawsuit to block the proposed lease sales.
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