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Valley Citizens for a Safe Env't v. Aldridge

Citation: 19 ELR 20497
No. No. 87-0130-F, 695 F. Supp. 605/(D. Mass., 09/29/1988)

The court holds that the Air Force's environmental impact statement (EIS) on basing 16 large cargo planes adequately considers alternatives, cost, air pollution, and noise pollution. The court first holds that the range of alternatives to the proposed action considered in the EIS is adequate. A detailed analysis of the environmental impact at bases other than the proposed base would have been futile, because the Air Force reasonably found that they were not feasible alternatives. The Air Force adequately considered the costs and feasibility of basing the planes in a cold region, and found that a cold climate was desirable training for Air Force personnel. An EIS is required to include a cost-benefit analysis in very limited circumstances, so the Air Force's brief statements regarding cost in the EIS are sufficient. The court next holds that the Air Force adequately considered the air pollution impacts of stationing the cargo planes. While the Air Force concedes some flaws in the EIS's predictions of air pollution impacts, the Air Force made a good faith effort in preparing the analysis, the Massachusetts state government approved the methodology, and the flaws are insignificant. Finally, the EIS's predictions of noise pollution impacts are adequate, in that they represent a reasonable attempt to provide information to decisionmakers on noise and use the only known and accepted method of predicting noise impact.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Christobal Bonifaz
21 Maple St., Conway MA 01341
(413) 369-4263

Counsel for Defendant
C. Brian McDonald, Ass't U.S. Attorney
1107 John W. McCormack, P.O. & Courthouse, Boston MA 02109-4583
(617) 223-9400

Pauline W. Milius
Land and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-3797