More than two years since their original court filing, the Sandy Pond Alliance will be taking its arguments in defense of freshwater lakes before a judge.
The alliance is a collective of individuals opposed to changes in federal law, allowing for the use of lakes like Sandy Pond as impoundment areas for mine waste under what the alliance claims is a loophole in environmental protection.
The actual Sandy Pond is located near Long Harbour and is being repurposed as an impoundment for waste from mining giant Vale's new hydromet processing facility, still under construction.
To date, the pond has been emptied and fish relocated in preparation for the pond's new role in effluent containment.
Since its creation, the alliance has received support in its fight to protect the pond - and now other ponds that might be used by mining operations- from organizations like the local Sierra Club and the Council of Canadians.
The alliance filed its Federal Court application in 2010. Alliance lawyer Owen Myers said since then the group has had to work through Vale's application for intervenor status in the case and other issues.
The case is scheduled to be heard today and tomorrow in courtroom No. 1 at Supreme Court in St. John's.
Before the hearing was called, volunteers with the alliance action gathered - with signs like "Clean Water = Health" - outside the courthouse in an attempt to draw attention to the issue of federal protections for the environment.