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Save Lake Wash. v. Frank

Citation: 11 ELR 20645
No. No. 79-4324, 641 F.2d 1330/16 ERC 1545/(9th Cir., 04/13/1981)

The court rules that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) complied with the National Environmental Policy Act in preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) for a docking facility construction project and that it complied with the "federal consistency" provisions of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). NOAA had prepared an EIS for a project to berth ocean-going vessels at Sand Point in Lake Washington, but finding the EIS inadequate the district court enjoined construction pending preparation of a supplemental EIS. Subsequently, the court vacated the injunction and NOAA drastically reduced the size of the project. Applying a restrictive standard of review, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the supplemental EIS provided NOAA with adequate information to evaluate the environmental effects of the project. It adequately considered the navigational risks associated with the project, especially considering the altered plans, and it fairly acknowledged opposing scientific viewpoints. Further, the court rules that the decision to locate in Sand Point was not arbitrary and capricious and thus may not be overturned by a court. The court also affirms the district court's ruling that NOAA complied with the CZMA. NOAA properly relied on the Washington Department of Ecology's determination that the project was consistent with the state Shoreline Management Act. In addition, appellants did not properly raise, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(b), the issue of NOAA's need for a state substantial development permit.

Counsel for Appellants
Michael W. Gendler
811 1st Ave., Seattle WA 98104
(206) 621-8868

Roger M. Leeds
1411 4th Ave., Seattle WA 98101
(206) 382-0217

Counsel for Appellees
Charles Pinnell, Ass't U.S. Attorney
1012 U.S. Cthse., 1010 5th Ave., Seattle WA 98104
(206) 442-7970

James T. Draude
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-3796

Before ANDERSON and FLETCHER, Circuit Judges, and EAST,* District Judge.