City of Crossgate sues VA over Louisville hospital relocation plans

The city of Crossgate, Ky., filed a federal lawsuit to block the relocation of the Louisville, Ky.-based VA hospital — Robley Rex Medical Center — to the vacant land east of Louisville in Crossgate, according to WDRB.

The federal government purchased the vacant land east of Louisville to build the replacement VA hospital five years ago, but fierce opposition stalled the project. Neighbors raised concerns over traffic congestion, while some city lawmakers and elected officials argued that alternative sites would better serve veterans. Despite the opposition, VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, signed off on the controversial location in October 2017.

However, the site is once again facing backlash. A lawsuit, filed by Crossgate city officials the week of March 19, claims the Department of Veterans Affairs violated the National Environmental Protection Act when it selected a controversial site in Crossgate five years ago. Prosecutors claim the VA didn't properly consider the environmental impacts of constructing the site and did not properly consider alternatives. Further, the lawsuit alleges the VA obtained the land before any environmental review was completed.

"This location and the way that the selection process and procurement process and now the build process are absolutely in violation," Crossgate Mayor Kirk Hilbrecht told WDRB.

The lawsuit seeks to delay the construction of the replacement VA hospital, which is set to begin next year.

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