Southwestern Illinois

(St. Louis Public Radio)

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit three southwestern Illinois counties filed to block the U.S. government from declaring the region's levees functionally useless.

U.S. District Judge J. Phil Gilbert called the lawsuit moot Monday, after the Federal Emergency Management Agency said in court it had no plans to pull the accreditation of the region's levees as part of a levee-mapping effort.

The case of three southwestern Illinois counties suing to block the U.S. government from declaring the region's levees functionally useless could be headed for trial in a federal court this spring.

A judge has scheduled the trial to begin April 16 in Benton on the lawsuit the counties filed in November over the mapping change that Madison, St. Clair and Monroe counties say could saddle thousands of property owners with higher, unaffordable insurance rates.