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Rhode Island Comm. on Energy v. General Servs. Admin.

Citation: 7 ELR 20629
No. No. 76-1530, 561 F.2d 397/10 ERC 2011/(1st Cir., 08/16/1977) Aff'd

Plaintiffs sought to block the proposed sale of the abandoned Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Landing Field as surplus property to an electric company for a nuclear power plant site. Plaintiffs appealed from other aspects of the district court opinion which held, inter alia, that sale of the site without preparation of an environmental impact statement violated the National Environmental Policy Act. The First Circuit holds that plaintiffs have no standing under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act (FPAS) to assert that the General Services Administration (GSA) had to offer the property first to the Department of the Interior as a wildlife refuge because plaintiffs failed to show that their claim falls within the "zone of interests" arguably protected by the FPAS. Secondly, the court affirms the refusal to join the Department of the Interior as an involuntary plaintiff because the Department has no "interest" which the suit could properly adjudicate. Thirdly, the court rejects plaintiffs' request for attorney fees because there is no basis for an award based on the "bad-faith" exception to 28 U.S.C. § 2412 in this case. The court voids the lower court's discussion of discretion under the FPAS because this litigation is not the proper place to settle this issue. Finally, the court finds no abuse of discretion in the refusal to issue an injunction.

Counsel for Plaintiffs-Appellants
Myron M. Cherry, Peter A. Flynn
One IBM Plaza, Chicago IL 60611
(312) 565-1177

Thomas C. Mullaney, Jr.
Connors & Kilguss
2600 Industrial Bank Bldg., Providence RI 02903
(401) 751-3900

Counsel for Defendants-Appellees
John J. Zimmerman (with Peter R. Taft, Ass't Attorney General; Edmund B. Clark, Irwin L. Schroeder)
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 739-4519

Lincoln C. Almond, U.S. Attorney; Everett C. Sanmartino, Ass't U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 1401, Providence RI 02901
(401) 528-4311

Counsel for Amici Curiae The Fund for Constitutional Government, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., and Friends of the Earth
Felice D. Cohen
1065 31st St. NW, Washington DC 20007
(202) 337-6065

Richard E. Ayres
Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.
917 15th St. NW, Washington DC
(202) 737-5000

Counsel for Amici Curiae New England Power Co. and Narragansett Electric Co.
Edward F. Hindle, Matthew F. Mederiros
Edwards & Angell
One Hospital Trust Plaza, Providence RI 02903
(401) 274-9200

Before Coffin, C.J., Aldrich & Campbell, JJ.