* A toast to Humboldt Baykeeper and Security National for coming to a rare agreement in the long-drawn-out battle over the Balloon Track. In a rare moment of solidarity, Humboldt Baykeeper and Security National both hailed a settlement in a lawsuit brought by the environmental group over contamination on Eureka's Balloon Track property as a good thing and a step forward for the community.

Filed in 2006, Baykeeper's suit was initially brought against Union Pacific Railroad, but was inherited by Security National when its subsidiary, CUE VI, purchased the Balloon Track property from the railroad company in October 2006 with its sights set on building Marina Center, a 42-acre mixed-use development featuring residential, office and retail space, as well as an 11-acre wetland reserve.

Wednesday, Baykeeper and Security National both announced the settlement and stated they are looking forward to a cleanup of the property.

Security National Vice President Randy Gans called the settlement “a win for the community.”

Baykeeper Executive Director Pete Nichols said Security National and Baykeeper's technical experts will work together to review development and cleanup plans, and that any disagreements will be resolved by a neutral third-party mediator.

We know it's not over until it's over, but this is an encouraging sign.


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