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Missouri ex rel. Ashcroft v. Corps of Eng'rs

Citation: 12 ELR 20368
No. Nos. 80-1224, -1225, 672 F.2d 1297/17 ERC 1001/(8th Cir., 03/09/1982) Aff'd

The Eighth Circuit affirms a district court decision, 12 ELR 20359, that the Corps of Engineers complied with the Administrative Procedure Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (FWCA), the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA), and the Missouri Clean Water Law (MCWL) in constructing and operating a flood control and hydroelectric dam project on the Sac River in Missouri. The court rules that the Corps' action in expanding the generating capacity of the project was not outside the congressional authority for the project under the Flood Control Act. The district court did not err in its findings that the environmental impact statement for the project adequately considered alternatives and environmental impacts, and that the Corps lawfully prepared the statement after seeking congressional authorization for the project. The Corps also complied with the FWCA since it consulted with appropriate fish and wildlife agencies and made efforts to minimize adverse effects on fish and wildlife. The Eighth Circuit also rules that the district court did not err in finding that the Corps was not subject to the MCWL. Soil erosion and reduction of oxygen caused by the dam do not constitute the "addition" of a pollutant from a "point source" within the meaning of the FWPCA, and the term runoff" does not include water discharged from the dam. Finally, the Eighth Circuit affirms the district court's dismissal of the nuisance claim.

Counsel are listed at 12 ELR 20359.

Stephenson, J. joined by Ross and Howard,* JJ.