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Dover, Township of v. U.S. Postal Serv.

Citation: 7 ELR 20508
No. No. 76-789, 429 F. Supp. 295/10 ERC 1398/(D.N.J., 03/16/1977)

The court grants defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings, treating it as a motion for summary judgment, and denies plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. The Postal Service was constructing a new mail processing facility and planned to move some of plaintiff Dover Township's operations to the new building. Plaintiff sought to compel preparation of an environmental impact statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and to require consultation with Dover Township officials before relocation of the facility under the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act (ICA).

The court holds that to maintain a cause of action under NEPA plaintiff must allege a primary impact on the physical environment. Though socioeconomic factors may be considered within the scope of the term "human environment," such factors are secondary to ecological considerations in evaluating the environmental impacts of a federal action.Moreover, the court holds that the ICA deals with developmental programs and does not apply to transfers of facilities out of the community.

The full text of this opinion is available from ELR (4 pp. $0.50, ELR Order No. C-1123).

Counsel for Plaintiff
Joseph L. Foster, Raymond A. Hayser
Dover Township Law Department
33 Washington Street, Tom's River NJ 08753
(201) 341-1000

Counsel for Defendants
Jonathan L. Goldstein, U.S. Attorney; William A. Staehle, Ass't U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 330, Newark NJ 07101
(201) 645-6438

[OPINION OMITTED BY PUBLISHER IN ORIGINAL SOURCE]