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Chelsea Neighborhood Ass'ns v. U.S. Postal Serv.

Citation: 5 ELR 20373
No. No. 75-6005, 516 F.2d 378/7 ERC 1957/(2d Cir., 04/30/1975)

The court upholds a preliminary injunction against construction by the Postal Service of a block-long vehicle maintenance facility, (VMF) in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City pending preparation of a NEPA impact statement. The court finds that the broad exemption from certain categories of federal law contained in § 410 of the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 was aimed at promoting efficient day-to-day management of the Service and did not exempt it from NEPA requirements. An impact statement prepared on a voluntary basis by the Service is held inadequate in that it fails to deal with the social and financial impacts on the community of a proposed housing project which will utilize the air rights above the VMF, largely ignores the possibility that the housing project may never be constructed, and lacks a detailed analysis of alternatives. The court does hold out the possibility of a stay of the injunction for the limited purpose of allowing the service, at its own risk, to accept a bid on the project on the assumption that a valid EIS favoring the facility can be prepared and filed in the near future. Plaintiff-Appellees' Clean Air Act claim against the VMF is not dealt with since there is no final order of the district court on that issue.

Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellees
Peter A. A. Berle
Albert K. Butzel
Peter J. Millock
Berle, Butzel & Kass
425 Park Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10022

Counsel for Defendant-Appellants
Paul J. Curran U.S. Attorney
John S. Siffert
Mel P. Barkan Asst. U.S. Attorneys
U.S. Courthouse
Foley Square
New York, N.Y. 10007