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Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests v. Brinegar

Citation: 5 ELR 20004
No. No. 74-208, 381 F. Supp. 282/(D.N.H., 08/19/1974)

The court issues a preliminary injunction prohibiting federal officials from approving federal funds for construction of an interstate highway segment outside Franconia Notch State Park until a new environmental impact statement, which analyzes the effect of the entire interstate highway on the Park and studies alternative routes, has been prepared. The existing EIS violates NEPA in that its scope is too limited and its examination of alternative routes inadequate. The proposed segment, once constructed, would exert irresistible pressure on planners to complete the highway through the Notch, and such construction and the increased automobile traffic it would cause would irreparably harm the Park and might lead to the destruction of its most beautiful and unique features. The court points to § 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act as evidence of the strong congressional policy that preservation of public park lands must be accorded greater weight than the demand for highway construction.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Frederic K. Upton
Upton, Sanders & Smith
10 Centre Street
Concord, N.H. 03301

Samuel Hoar
Goodwin, Procter & Hoar
28 State Street
Boston, Mass. 02109

Counsel for Defendants
John C. Boeckeler Asst. Attorney General
State Capitol
Concord, N.H. 03301

Robert Schwartz
Asst. U.S. Attorney
U.S. Courthouse
Concord, N.H. 03301