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Sierra Club v. Froehlke

Citation: 2 ELR 20307
No. No. 72-C-110, 345 F. Supp. 440/(W.D. Wis., 06/02/1972)

Plaintiff conservation organization failed to show the substantial probability of success on the merits required for a preliminary injunction to issue halting defendant Corps of Engineers' construction of the LaFarge Lake project on the Kickapoo River. The claim that defendant's final impact statement did not constitute full disclosure under the National Environmental Policy Act fails because the statement recognizes and puts interested persons on notice of specific environmental consequences and alternatives. The Act does not require that every conceivable study be performed or that each problem be locumented from every angle to explore every potential. The claim of administrative bias does not succeed, even assuming the impact statement reflects such bias, since this is not automatic grounds for invalidation of the statement. Congressional authorization of a dam "substantially as recommended" in 1962 does not foreclose defendant from building a dam that would cover twice the area and impound two times as much water as had been described. The Chief of Engineers has considerable latitude to adjust the original plans, and it is for Congress to determine whether a project is proceeding in accordance with the authorization. Plaintiff's challenge to the cost-benefit ratio used by the Corps is unsuccessful, since determination of benefits and costs is a legislative function and not judicially reviewable.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Frank Tuerkheimer
122 Quarterdeck Drive
Madison, Wisconsin

Counsel for Defendants
John O. Olson U.S. Attorney
Western District of Wisconsin
P.O. Box 112
Madison, Wisconsin 53701

Michael Ferring Acting District Counsel
Department of the Army
St. Paul District, Corps of Engineers
1210 U.S. Post Office & Custom House
St. Paul, Minnesota 55101

Counsel for Intervenors
David E. Beckwith
Foley & Lardner
735 N. Water Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202