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Kelley v. Butz

Citation: 8 ELR 20676
No. No. M-74-87-CA, 12 ERC 1033/(W.D. Mich., 04/19/1977)

The court vacates a preliminary injunction after finding reasonable the Forest Service's decision not to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for a herbicide spray program. In a suit brought by the Michigan Attorney General to block use of the herbicide 2,4,5-T on 73 acres in the Ottawa National Forest, the court preliminarily enjoined the Forest Service because it failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in considering the environmental impact of the spraying program. Subsequently, the Forest Service prepared a detailed environmental assessment and concluded that a full EIS was not required. The court finds that the environmental analysis gives sufficient consideration to alleged adverse environmental impacts and constitutes an adequate administrative record for purposes of judicial review. Second, applying a standard of "reasonableness" in reviewing the agency decision, the court upholds the Forest Service's determination that the spraying program was not a major federal action significantly affecting the environment and requiring preparation of an EIS.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Frank J. Kelley, Attorney General; Stewart H. Freeman, Charles Alpert, Robert N. Rosenberg, S. David Kutinsky, Ass't Attorneys General
Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Division
Law Bldg., Suite 630, 525 W. Ottawa, Lansing MI 48913
(517) 373-1110

Counsel for Defendants
Frank Spies, U.S. Attorney
544 Federal Bldg. and U.S. Courthouse, 110 Michigan Ave. NW, Grand Rapids MI 49503
(616) 456-2404