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Sierra Club v. Morton

Citation: 5 ELR 20383
No. No. 74-1017, 395 F. Supp. 1187/8 ERC 1009/(D.D.C., 06/06/1975)

The court orders Interior Department officials to prepare, consider, and disseminate environmental impact statements on annual proposals for financing the National Wildlife Refuge System, after finding that such proposals are proposals for legislation within the meaning of § 102(2)(C) of NEPA, and are major federal actions which clearly have a significant affect on the environment. The court further orders the Office of Management and Budget to develop formal methods and procedures for identifying OMB actions requiring NEPA impact statements. Defendants' assertions that preparation of impact statements in conjunction with appropriations proposals would be excessively burdensome, that the budget process is privileged until the President adopts the budget and presents it to Congress, and that a programmatic impact statement in preparation will serve to meet the requirements of NEPA are each rejected as unconvincing.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Bruce J. Terris
Zona F. Hostetler
1908 Sunderland Pl. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

Thomas B. Stoel, Jr.
David F. Michelman
National Resources Defense Coucil, Inc.
917 15th St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005

Counsel for Defendants
L. Mark Wine
William N. Cohen
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530