WASHINGTON -- As reported by the Columbian: "A final study on the Cowlitz casino will be ready for public review Friday, kicking off a 30-day waiting period before a final federal decision.
"Federal officials will not announce their decision before July 1, but the impending release of the final environmental impact statement means the finish line is in sight.'
"'I think this is an important step forward in the federal process," said Phil Harju, a member of the Cowlitz Tribal Council and its designated casino spokesman. 'The federal government (is) close to taking the land into trust for the Cowlitz reservation.'
"That step is necessary for a development partnership to build a $510 million casino complex along Interstate 5 two miles west of La Center.
"If the federal government takes the 152-acre site into trust, the long casino fight will enter a new litigious phase..."
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