Appeals Court Hears Cell Tower Case

An appeals court heard arguments on Tuesday over AT&T’s proposed 450-foot cell-phone tower at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness near Ely.

Minnesota Public Radio has the story HERE.

AT&T’s appeal argued the original ruling improperly restricted their structure to be built on private land under a Minnesota law protecting public land.  Last summer, Judge Philip Bush ruled under the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act that the tower and its lights would “impair the scenic view and aesthetic resources of the BWCAW.”

The ruling did permit AT&T to build an unlighted 199-foot tower, which it erected last year and plans to operate starting this summer.

In the appeal, AT&T argued that the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act does not protect scenic views from public land from structures built on private land.  Environmental groups, including the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness assert the law does provide such protections.

A ruling in the appeal is expected in the next three months.


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