There still is no cargo port at Sears Island, but there are three fewer things standing in its way.

A judge sitting in Belfast threw out three environmental lawsuits that challenged the state’s plan to turn part of the undeveloped island, which is connected to the mainland by a causeway, into a deep-water harbor and cargo port.

Waldo County Superior Court Justice Jeffrey Hjelm ruled against the plaintiffs in the suits, who claimed that the development of a port would irreparably harm their right to enjoy, use and worship at the site.

Hjelm found that the three plaintiffs had suffered no “actual injury” and so had no standing to sue.

That ruling upholds the work of a task force which studied the island and recommended that part of it be developed and part preserved.

That recommendation has been endorsed by Gov. Baldacci and the Legislature. The only thing missing so far is an investor who also thinks it would be a good idea.

Because it would bring jobs and economic activity to Eastern Maine, we think it would. The task force’s careful compromise balances interests in preserving and developing the island. Removing the obstacle of these suits should open the way when the economy comes back.