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D.C. Fed'n of Civic Ass'ns v. Volpe

Citation: 1 ELR 20572
No. Nos. 24,838 & 24,843, 459 F.2d 1231/3 ERC 1143/(D.C. Cir., 10/12/1971) Aff'd in part, rev'd & remanded with directions in part

District court decision enjoining construction of the Three Sisters Bridge (1 ELR 20552), on remand from this court now affirmed with respect to the finding that the Department of Transportation failed to comply with certain of the public hearing and structural safety preconditions to highway approval. As to the lower court's finding of compliance with those statutory provisions designed to: 1) protect parklands; 2) assure coordinated urban transportation planning; 3) assure highway projects consistent with the public health; 4) guarantee effective public participation in the highway location planning process; and 5) assure ccordinated planning for any use of federally owned parklands, the decision is reversed and remanded to the district court with directions that it return the case to the Secretary of Transportation for him to perform his statutory functions consistent with the court's opinion. Moreover with regard to the pressure exerted by members of Congress upon federal highway officials in favor of the bridge project, on remand the appropriate administrative officials must make the determinations required by federal highway law "completely without regard to any considerations not made relevant by Congress in the applicable statutes." The district court's decision that the bridge project was exempted by Congress from compliance with certain provisions of the federal Code as well as provisions of the District of Columbia Code was inadequately treated in the briefs on appeal to warrent decision. Judgment on this issue is deferred to permit the filing of memoranda.

Counsel for Plaintiff:
Roberts B. Owen
Gerald P. Norton
Covington & Burling
888 Sixteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 293-3300

Counsel for Federal Defendants:
Thomas L. McKevitt
Shiro Kashiwa
Thomas A. Flannery
Joseph M. Hannon
Edmund B. Clark
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C.
(202) 737-8200

Counsel for Defendants District of Columbia:
John R. Hess Asst. Corporation Counsel
C. Francis Murphy Corporation Counsel
Richard W. Barton Asst. Corporation Counsel
District Building
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 628-6000

Before BAZELON, Chief Judge, FAHY, Senior Circuit Judge, and MacKINNON, Circuit Judge.*