TRIDEC Looking to Recover Initiative 297 Court Costs - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

TRIDEC Looking to Recover Initiative 297 Court Costs

KENNEWICK, Wash.- The Tri-City Industrial Development Council is looking for the state to recover $157,706 in court costs from their fight to overturn Washington State Initiative 297.

I-297 prohibited the federal government from sending more radioactive waste to the Department of Energy's Hanford site.  It was overturned in federal court after a judge found it to be in violation of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. 

TRIDEC, a not-for-profit agency, wants the state to cover their legal fees to avoid raising membership fees to cover the costs.

"We have no way to cover the attorneys fees costs except either getting it from the court itself, or from our members," said Gary Petersen, TRIDEC's Vice President of Hanford Programs. 

"And so this would have been quite a, quite a heavy burden for our members."

Seattle's Preston Gates and Ellis served as TRIDEC's council during the trial, and a Yakima firm recently found, in an independent investigation, that the charges were appropriate for the work completed.

Any appeals to the court's ruling must be made by September 11.