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Wingfield v. Office of Management & Budget

Citation: 7 ELR 20362
No. No. 77-0489, 9 ERC 1961/(D.D.C., 04/04/1977)

The court dismisses, for lack of standing to sue, plaintiff's suit alleging that a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental impact statement (EIS) must be prepared for legislative proposals to regulate strip mining. Plaintiff owns property on which surface and underground mining occurs and seeks to enjoin the defendant and other federal agencies from submitting strip-mining proposals to Congress without including an EIS as required by NEPA. Plaintiff's economic interest in these formative legislative developments is highly speculative. NEPA requires that an EIS be filed for initial legislative proposals but not for every subsequent recommendation on pending legislation. In any event, this NEPA provision was not intended to create a private right of action to challenge the continuing legislative process. Plaintiff's challenge that the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is not following its own regulations by submitting recommendations without an EIS must also be dismissed for lack of standing, because the injury is speculative and depends upon the tenuous assumption that CEQ's proposals will be enacted into law.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Raymond Peck, James M. Day, Mark Savit, Gerard F. Doyle
Cotten, Day & Doyle
1200 18th St., NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 659-9505

Counsel for Defendants
Floyd L. France, Irwin L. Schroeder, Lawrence Hannaway
Land & Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 739-2710