MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – A federal judge will hear arguments today in a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s plans to use oil spill settlement funds to build a beachfront hotel and conference center at Gulf State Park.
The Gulf Restoration Network filed a lawsuit against state and federal trustees who approved the project.
The environmental group argues a hotel isn’t a proper use of funds meant to restore the coast after the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Alabama contends the project will help people return to the beach after recreation use dropped during the 2010 spill.
U.S. District Judge Charles Butler will hear arguments today in Mobile on motions for summary judgment requested by both plaintiffs and defendants.
Alabama hopes to have the 350-room hotel and conference center open by the summer of 2018.