A federal judge says the Army Corps of Engineers can operate the Missouri River without changes sought by environmentalists to save endangered fish and birds.
U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson ruled in favor of the Corps Monday on all counts.
His order comes nearly one year after a different federal judge ordered the changes and cited corps leaders for contempt when they refused to make the changes.
Magnuson is a Minnesota judge, and he blocked the contempt citation after taking over the river litigation.
Conservation groups say they are weighing whether to appeal to a higher court.
Environmentalists have denounced the Corps for giving preference to barge shipping down river over creating an ebb and flow to protect dwindling fish and bird populations.