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Keith v. Volpe

Citation: 2 ELR 20632
No. No. 72-355-HP, 352 F. Supp. 1324/4 ERC 1562/(C.D. Cal., 09/11/1972) Motion to amend preliminary injunction denied

This is an order denying a motion by defendants to amend the preliminary injunction granted against the construction of the Century Freeway (I-105) in Los Angeles County. That injunction, granted July 7, 1972, and the opinion supporting it, are found at 2 ELR 20425. Much of the present opinion is a clarification and reaffirmation of points raised in the earlier opinion. The court further finds that § 102 of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), requiring laws of the United States to be interpreted in accordance with § 101 of NEPA, expands the responsibilities of state highway authorities under § 128 (a) of the Federal-Aid Highway Act, 23 U.S.C. § 128 (a). The requirement of NEPA, echoed by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), that a full evaluation of the environmental impact, including noise and air pollution, of the proposed action, and the impact of alternatives, including mass transit, must be made, becomes a part of the public hearings requirement of § 128 (a). Members of the public who attend corridor and design hearings must be adequately informed about the alternatives studied by the state highway department. The hearings convened by the California Division of Highways in this case were procedurally adequate, but not enough consideration was given to the crucial issues of noise and air pollution. The court denies defendants' requests for permission to continue to acquire land along the proposed right-of-way; for permission to proceed with outside agencies to relocate utilities; for blanket permission to proceed with payments and contracts which provide for increased housing in the vicinity of I-105, and for blanket permission to demolish buildings in the right-of-way already acquired. There is the danger that proceeding in any way with the freeway as presently planned will jeopardize the objective reevaluation NEPA and CEQA require. The court permits several cities along the proposed freeway route to intervene.

Counsel are listed at 2 ELR 20425.

Counsel for Additional Plaintiff City of Hawthorne
Kenneth L. Nelson
City Attorney, City of Hawthorne
4460 W. 126th Street
Hawthorne, California 92250