Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 | 9:32 a.m.
The Bureau of Land Management has signed off on a massive pipeline project to carry water from rural counties along the Nevada-Utah line to Las Vegas.
The record of decision announced Thursday authorizes the BLM to issue a right of way to Southern Nevada Water Authority for the nearly 300-mile-long pipeline from the rural areas to the desert metropolis that is home to some 2 million people.
Nevada's state engineer in March granted the water authority permission to pump up to 84,000 acre-feet of groundwater a year from four rural valleys in Lincoln and White Pine counties. His approval has since been challenged in court by environmental groups, local governments, Indian tribes, ranchers and others who claim the project will ensure economic and environmental doom to the rural areas.