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Essex County Preservation Ass'n v. Campbell

Citation: 6 ELR 20577
No. No. 75-1392, 536 F.2d 956/8 ERC 2156/(1st Cir., 06/18/1976) Rev'd in part

Although rejecting one ruling of the lower court, the court of appeals nonetheless affirms the district court's refusal, 5 ELR 20568, to issue a preliminary injunction against defendants' widening of a stretch of I-95 in Massachusetts. The 1975 NEPA amendment and the district court finding that there was "considerable federal review, discussion and revision" of the project's environmental impact statement (EIS) require rejection of the lower court's conclusion that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) improperly delegated EIS preparation to a consulting firm that also served as design engineer on the project. The district court was, however, correct in ruling that the Massachusetts governor's declaration of a moratorium on widening other sectionns of I-95 was the type of significant new information concerning a project's environmental aspects that required a supplemental EIS under FHWA regulations. Despite FHWA's violation of its regulations by giving plans, specifications, and estimates approval to this project one and a half months before formally approving Massachusetts' environmental "Action Plan," it was proper for the court to balance competing considerations in evaluating the appropriateness of injunctive relief, given the technical nature of defendants' statutory violations. Refusal of an injunction was within the district court's discretion.

Counsel for Plaintiffs, see 5 ELR 20569.

Counsel for Federal Defendants
Jacques B. Gelin, Attorney
Robert B. Taft, Asst. Attorney General
Raymond N. Zagone, Attorney
Department of Justice
Washington DC 20530
(202) 739-2762

James N. Gabriel, U.S. Attorney
William A. Brown, Asst. U.S. Attorney
John F. Kennedy Federal Bldg.
Boston MA 02203
(617) 223-3258

Counsel for State Defendants
Francis X. Bellotti, Attorney General
John J. Twomey, Asst. Attorney General
State Office Bldg.
100 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston MA 02202
(617) 727-2200

McEntee, J. for himself, Coffin & Campbell, JJ.