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Natural Resources Defense Council v. Pe

Citation: 29 ELR 20491
(08/19/1998)

The court dismisses environmental groups' complaint alleging that the National Environmental Policy Act requires the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to prepare a supplemental programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) addressing new information concerning the use of the Los Alamos National Laboratory as a plutonium production and storage site. DOE sought to use Los Alamos for its nuclear weapons stockpile, stewardship, and management (SSM) program and issued a PEIS for the site. The court first holds that none of the issues raised by the groups are ripe for review. For the limited purpose of resolving the case at issue, DOE agreed to prepare a supplement analysis on the implementation of plutonium production at Los Alamos. If the analysis met certain conditions, DOE agreed to prepare a supplemental PEIS as requested by the groups. If, however, at any time, DOE were to fail to follow through on its promises or it was found that DOE misrepresented its position, the groups have the right to take appropriate action. Therefore, the court orders DOE to complete a supplement analysis to the supplemental PEIS for the SSM program at Los Alamos.

[A prior decision in this litigation is published at 28 ELR 20001.]

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Lisa G. Dowden, Robert L. Roach
Spiegel & McDiarmid
1350 New York Ave. NW, Ste. 1100, Washington DC 20005
(202) 879-4000

Counsel for Defendants
Martin J. LaLonde, Anthony P. Hoang
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000