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Dare County Sues Feds To Stop Lighthouse Move

MANTEO– Dare County has turned to federal court a second time to force a stop to the planned move of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Raleigh by the county, Buxton resident John Robert Hooper and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Committee.

The lawsuit contends the National Park Service failed to consider the potential environmental effects of moving the 208-foot tower one-half mile inland. The plaintiffs want the federal court to delay action until a thorough report is done.

Park service officials said they had not seen the most recent development in the ongoing legal battle over the nation’s tallest brick lighthouse.

In November, Dare County asked a federal judge for a temporary restraining order. The county cited speculation that the striped beacon would be broken into three pieces and that the contractor was trying to avoid liability if something went wrong.

Lawyers for the government argued that the county did not have sufficient standing to seek the restraining order.

Dare County Attorney H. Al Cole said late Monday that the county has accepted a voluntary dismissal of the injunction request and filed the new lawsuit in its place.

Congress approved $9.8 million last October to move the light from the beachfront. It has stood since 1870 but is now threatened by ocean waves that have eroded the shoreline.

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