- Associated Press - Friday, January 8, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A federal judge will hear arguments this month in a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s plans to use oil spill settlement funds to build a beach hotel and conference center.

U.S. District Judge Charles Butler set a hearing for Jan. 26 in Mobile.

The Gulf Restoration Network filed a lawsuit against the state and federal trustees who approved the project. The environmental group says a hotel isn’t a correct use of funds meant to restore the coast after the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

The state plans to use $135 million in settlement funds to build a 350-room hotel and conference center at Gulf State Park.

The state maintains that the facility will bring people to the beach, where tourism took a blow during the spill.

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