December 27, 2011--Hopis lose snowmaking lawsuit in Ariz. (Durango Herald)

The Hopi Tribe has lost a round in court in its bid to stop Flagstaff from selling treated sewage water to Arizona Snowbowl. The Arizona Daily Sunreports Coconino County Superior Court Judge Joe Lodge ruled in favor of the city last week. It’s not clear if the Hopis will appeal the decision. “We’re going to seriously take a look at what we have,” said Hopi Chairman Le Roy Shingoitewa. The judge said the substantial components of the case already had been decided in federal court, and the tribe was legally required to raise its objections earlier. “The plaintiff was clearly on notice in March 2002 that the city of Flagstaff intended to contract with Snowbowl to purchase reclaimed wastewater to be used for snowmaking at the Snowbowl ski area,” Lodge wrote in his ruling. The ruling sidesteps some of the new legal questions raised by the tribe, such as whether reclaimed wastewater can legally be used to make snow if the melted snow then flows into other water basins outside of Snowbowl, which is prohibited by state regulations.

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