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Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Comm'n v. Martin

Citation: 8 ELR 20353
No. No. 78-0060, 447 F. Supp. 350/11 ERC 1537/(D.D.C., 03/13/1978)

The court grants summary judgment for defendants and finds that the decision not to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) before consolidating and transferring offices of the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) to its Brookmont facility does not violate the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In seeking an injunction, plaintiffs argued that the decision not to prepare an EIS was arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion. The court disagrees, holding that the DMA consolidation is not a major federal action subject to NEPA because the transfer of equipment and personnel will involve a limited number of people over a short time period, entails no new construction, and is comparable to hiring additional personnel at a government facility at less than peak employment level. Furthermore, the move will have no significant impact on the physical environment of Brookmont, and the environmental impact is not so controversial that an EIS would be required under the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality and the Department of Defense. The court concludes that the DMA gave the environmental issues the requisite "hard look" after substantial and good-faith consideration and that its conclusion is reasonable.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Gus B. Bauman, Assoc. General Counsel
Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Comm'n
8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring MD 20907
(301) 565-7374

William S. Green
Pierson, Ball & Dowd
Ring Bldg., 1200 18th St. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 331-8566

Edward C. Berkowitz
Lane & Edson P.C.
Suite 400 South, 1800 M St. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 457-6800

James R. Rosa, Ass't General Counsel
AFGE Local 3407, AFL-CIO
1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington DC 20005
(202) 737-8700

Counsel for Defendants
Robert M. Werdig, Jr., Ass't U.S. Attorney
Room 3600-E, U.S. Courthouse, 3d & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC 20001
(202) 426-7511