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Culpeper League for Envtl. Protection v. NRC

Citation: 8 ELR 20286
No. No. 76-1484, 574 F.2d 632/11 ERC 1473/(D.C. Cir., 03/16/1978)

On direct review of an order of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the D.C. Circuit rules that the procedures employed by the Board in approving a routing proposal for an electric transmission line were adequate under the National Environmental Policy Act. The order approving the route disclosed that the Board fully discussed several alternatives to the proposal and gave sufficient weight to the possibility that the land would otherwise be developed into a park. The court also rejects plaintiffs' allegation that the Board's cost-benefit analysis was inadequate because of failure to consider the cost of an essential segment of the proposed line. The segment in question was to be constructed regardless of the Board's action with respect to the other segments and thus the Board was justified in excluding the segment from the cost-benefit calculations. The court is similarly unwilling to overturn the Board's decision that, in light of the topographic conditions of the proposed route, it would be unnecessary to require that the transmission line follow the natural contours of the land in order to minimize the disruption of the visual character of the area.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Clarence T. Kipps, Jr.
Miller & Chevalier
1700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 393-5660

Collister Johnson, Jr., John T. Schell
1150 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 457-1000

Counsel for Defendants
Steven Goldberg; Stephen F. Eilperin, Ass't General Counsel
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555
(202) 634-1398

Edmund B. Clark; Peter R. Taft, Ass't Attorney General
Land & Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 739-2701

Counsel for Intervenor Virginia Electric & Power Co.
James N. Christman, Michael Maupin
Hunton & Williams
707 E. Main St., Richmond VA 23212
(804) 788-8200

Before: MacKINNON, ROBB and WILKEY, Circuit Judges.