I-297 Decision Upheld on Appeal - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

I-297 Decision Upheld on Appeal

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KENNEWICK, Wash.- An appeals court has upheld a ruling declaring Initiative 297 unconstitutional.

I 297 supporters were definitely disappointed Wednesday with Governor Gregoire going as far as to say the state still has cleanup powers at Hanford, even after this decision.  

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed with a federal judges's 2007 ruling that the initiative is unconstitutional.

Initiative opponents had called the state's court battle a waste of taxpayer money, here's what they had to say after hearing the decision.  

"I would hope that the parties on the other side recognize that this is really just kind of a waste of time and energy and we should be putting our time and energy towards cleanup at Hanford rather than silly court battles," said TRIDEC President Carl Adrian.

Washington voters approved 297 in 2004 with almost 70 percent of the vote, but voters in Benton and Franklin counties were against the initiative.  

It was after that that the federal government and some private organizations together sued the state.  

At this point it appears they've won.  The state would have to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to change this decision.