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Willcox, City of v. Federal Power Comm'n

Citation: 7 ELR 20555
No. Nos. 74-2123, 75-1052, 567 F.2d 394/(D.C. Cir., 06/30/1977)

The court decides, inter alia, that the applicability as an interim measure of a proposed permanent curtailment plan for natural gas deliveries need not be stayed pending completion of an environmental impact statement. The court cautions, however, that this forbearance is based on the expectation that the Federal Power Commission (FPC) will develop a complete environmental record and consider all relevant alternatives as though no interim plan were in effect and on the understanding that the administrative law judge will have broad authority to revise the plan in light of environmental considerations. This approach, in the court's view, is more practicable and less disruptive than remanding the proposed plan in its entirety for reconsideration of environmental factors while reinstating the previous interim curtailment order. This resolution of the isue reconciles the FPC's duty under the Natural Gas Act "to take effective interim curtailment action in the exigencies presented by gas shortages" and the National Environmental Policy Act's mandate that environmental considerations be taken into account to the fullest extent possible.

Counsel for Petitioners
City of Willcox and Arizona Electric Power Cooperative
Arnold D. Berkeley, David R. Straus
1735 I St., NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 785-0611

Counsel for Respondent
Drexel D. Journey, General Counsel; Robert W. Perdue, Deputy General Counsel; Allan A. Tuttle, Solicitor; John H. Burns, Jr.
Federal Power Commission, Washington DC 20426
(202) 655-4000

Counsel for Intervenor Salt River Project
Richard H. Silverman, Joel L. Green
Salt River Project
1521 Project Dr., Phoenix AR 85026
(602) 273-5900

Joined by Tamm, J.; Bazelon, C.J., concurs in part and dissents in part.