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Milo Community Hosp. v. Weinberger

Citation: 6 ELR 20027
No. No. 75-1205, 525 F.2d 144/8 ERC 1588/(1st Cir., 11/14/1975)

The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare was not required to prepare a NEPA impact statement prior to terminating plaintiff's status as a federally-assisted "provider of services" under the Medicare Act because of plaintiff's continued non-compliance with fire prevention regulations. Although certain decertification decisions under the Act may require environmental impact statements under NEPA, the Act imposes on the Secretary a non-discretionary duty to terminate the certification of any hospital in which he finds serious non-compliance with fire prevention requirements. The Secretary therefore did not err in failing to prepare an EIS in this particular case because he was statutorily prohibited from taking into account factors characterized by plaintiff as "environmental considerations," i.e., economic dislocations in the community and increased use of automobiles by residents traveling to more distant hospitals. A judgment for defendants is affirmed.

Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellant
Joseph J. Bichrest
Box 513
Greenville, Me. 04441

Counsel for Defendants-Appellees
Peter Mills, U.S. Attorney
Federal Building
156 Federal Street
Portland, Me. 04111

Lawrence E. Burstein, Asst. Regional Attorney
Region I, Dept. of HEW
JFK Federal Building, Rm. 1508
Boston, Mass. 02203

Before Coffin, C.J.; McEntee, and Thomsen,* JJ.