SALT LAKE CITY — An environmental advocacy group hoping to stop construction of a soccer complex near the Jordan River lost another legal challenge Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Dee Benson denied the Jordan River Restoration Network's request for preliminary injunction in the group's case against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In the lawsuit, the Jordan River Restoration Network and a handful of other plaintiffs appealed the corps' issuance of a permit that allowed the city to move forward with construction of the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex.

The plaintiffs argued that the Corps violated provisions of the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedures Act when it approved a wetland fill permit for the project. The group wanted that permit to be declared invalid and returned to the Corps for reconsideration.

In his 13-page decision, Benson ruled that the group failed to prove a substantial likelihood of prevailing on merits of the case and that it did not show that irreparable harm would occur if the injunction were denied.

Construction is under way on 15 competition-quality soccer field and one championship field with permanent bleachers and lights near 1900 West and 2200 North.

The $22.8 million first phase of the project is being funded by a $15.3 million bond approved by voters in 2003 and a $7.5 million gift from Real Salt Lake.

Last week, a 3rd District Court judge validated the bond in a separate legal matter related to the soccer complex.


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