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Porter County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of Am. v. Atomic Energy Comm'n

Citation: 6 ELR 20463
No. No. 74-1751, 533 F.2d 1011/9 ERC 1282/(7th Cir., 04/13/1976) Petition for review denied

On remand from the Supreme Court, 6 ELR 20030, the Seventh Circuit, by denying the petition for review, upholds the Atomic Energy Commission's decision to license the Bailly nuclear power plant adjacent to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The AEC has jurisdiction to approve the plant site, notwithstanding the Department of the Interior's jurisdiction over the Lakeshore, since Interior has not sought to enjoin the plant construction because of possible adverse effects on the Lakeshore. AEC, in consultation with Interior, has properly given attention to the environmental effects of the plant. Pertinent census data support AEC's finding that the reactor is at least two miles from the nearest densely populated center with over 25,000 residents. Furthermore, AEC advisory documents relating to considering alternative sites when population densities exceed 500 persons per square mile within 30 miles of the reactor were adequately considered. The AEC has fully complied with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. First, alternative sites were properly considered and rejected, notwithstanding the impossibility of predicting a major nuclear plant accident, since the decision whether that risk requires locating reactors only in unpopulated areas must be decided by the expert body empowered by Congress. Second, the AEC took into account scheduled additions to the electric power supply. Finally, AEC's cost-benefit analysis complies with NEPA, since it explains the creation and effects of acid misting from the plant's cooling towers and the comparative environmental and economic advantages of alternative sites.

Counsel are listed at 5 ELR 20274 and 6 ELR 20040.

Before FAIRCHILD, Chief Judge, SPRECHER and TONE, Circuit Judges.