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Inman Park Restoration v. Urban Mass Transp. Admin.

Citation: 7 ELR 20466
No. No. C75-717A, 414 F. Supp. 99/(N.D. Ga., 11/07/1975)

The court rejects challenges to the adequacy of an environmental impact statement prepared for a proposed mass transit system and denies plaintiffs' request for injunctive relief based on the Department of Transportation Act, the Urban Mass Transportation Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act. Plaintiffs sued to prevent destruction of historic buildings and residential areas. Laches does not apply where no physical construction on a project has begun and where litigation may result in environmental benefits, even though defendants have expended considerable time, money, and effort. NEPA requires neither separate nor supplemental environmental impact statements for each public transportation station where the stations have no independent utility or purpose. Rather, the agency must give continuing consideration to environmental impacts and alternatives. Where substantial changes are made in the proposed activity, however, or where significant new information regarding the action's environmental impact comes to light, the Department of Transportation, or its subordinate agency, may choose to prepare supplemental impact statements.

A supplemental order issued six months later deals with plaintiffs' remaining three claims. An agency's determinations that there are no feasible or prudent alternatives to the proposed action and that all possible planning has been done to minimize harm to the site involved will be upheld unless the agency acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Richard B. Ellenberg
Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc.
11 Pryor Street SW, Atlanta GA 30303
(404) 524-5811

John R. Myer
2415 National Bank of Georgia Bldg., 34 Peachtree Street NW, Atlanta GA 30303
(404) 522-1934

Richard N. Hubert, Robert L. Schwind
Haas, Holland, Levison & Gibert
2700 First National Bank Tower, Atlanta GA 30303
(404) 658-1811

Counsel for Defendants
William D. Mallard, Jr., J. Robert Cooper, Ass't U.S. Attorney
428 U.S. Courthouse, 56 Forsyth Street NW, Atlanta GA 30303
(404) 221-6954

W. Stell Huie, G. Donald Johnson, Bettie W. Driver
Huie, Ware, Sterne, Brown & Ide
1200 Standard Federal Savings Bldg., Atlanta GA 30303
(404) 522-8700

Wendell K. Willard
Harvey, Willard & Elliot
The Executive Bldg., 125 Trinity Place, Decatur GA 30030
(404) 377-3851