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Environmental Defense Fund v. Stamm

Citation: 6 ELR 20621
No. No. C-75-1419-SAW, (N.D. Cal., 06/29/1976)

The court enjoins the Bureau of Reclamation from opening construction bids for the San Felipe Division of the Central Valley irrigation project pending preparation of a supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS). The final — but not draft — EIS for the project discussed the alternative of using an existing canal to convery the water from the Central Valley to four coastal counties. In addition, the final EIS does not discuss the alternative of delaying the project pending a showing that local governments that will receive the water are financially capable of building local distribution facilities. Each of these omissions violates NEPA's requirement that an EIS be a detailed statement that discusses the environmental impact of a proposal and its alternatives. Injunctive relief is properly granted since plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits, they will suffer irreparable harm without the injunction, defendants' harm will be comparatively slight, and the public interest will be served by defendants' compliance with NEPA.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Thomas J. Graff
Walter V. Hays
Jeffrey M. Oderman
Environmental Defense Fund
2728 Durant Ave.
Berkeley CA 94704
(415) 548-8906

Counsel for Defendants
Charles M. O'Connor, Asst. U.S. Attorney
Federal Bldg.
San Francisco CA 94102
(415) 556-1126