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Environmental Defense Fund v. Armstrong

Citation: 2 ELR 20735
No. No. C-72-1057-CBR, 352 F. Supp. 50/4 ERC 1760/(N.D. Cal., 11/14/1972) Preliminary injunction denied

The district court refuses to grant preliminary injunctive relief against the letting of bids and further work on the main contract for the New Melones Dam but retains jurisdiction pending the final updating of the interim environmental impact statement which is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The court finds that the existing statement contains an adequate discussion of structural and non-structural alternatives even though they are not set forth at full length and that a discussion of alternative cost-benefit ratios is neither necessary nor a matter upon which a court may substitute its judgment. The court holds that the failure to include details concerning the ultimate disposition of the water conserved does not render the interim statement inadequate as there is a tentative best estimate of possible uses and provided that a final statement on the ultimate operation of the project is filed prior to actual construction. Finally, the court concludes that the failure of the Bureau of Reclamation to obtain statutorily required permits for water diversion from the California Water Resources Board and to include their contents in the impact statement does inhibit the assessment of the merits of the project in light of permissible uses. However, in an exercise of equitable discretion, the court decides that, in view of the costs entailed in delaying the activities sought to be enjoined, the court will retain jurisdiction pending the filing of a final statement embodying the permits, and that in the future an injunction shall issue.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Michael W. Palmer
Thomas J. Graff
Environmental Defense Fund, Inc.
2728 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, California 94704

Counsel for Intervenors
Rolla L. Garretson, Jr. City Attorney, City of Ripon
Blewett, Garretson & Hachman
141 East Acacia Street
Stockton, California 95202

Monroe N. Langdon City Attorney, City of Stockton
City Hall
Stockton, California 95202

Stewart W. James
James & James
7108 Hughson Avenue
Hughson, California 95326

J. Kingsley Chadeayne
Chadeayne, Wilkinson, Talley & Grande
37 West 10th Street
Tracy, California

Rodney G. Commons
2180 Milvia
Berkeley, California

Thomas J. Shepard
Robert C. Morrison
Neumiller, Bearslee, Siegert, Glahn,
Shepard & Greene
916 Bank of America Building
Stockton, California 95202

George A. Huberty County Counsel, County of Calaveras
3 North Main Street
San Andreas, California 94249

Richard W. Dickenson
County Counsel, County of San Joaquin
Michael N. Garrigan Deputy County Counsel, County of San Joaquin
222 East Weber Avenue
Stockton, California 95202

T. W. Martz County Counsel, County of Stanislaus
Jonathon H. Rowell Deputy County Counsel, County of Stanislaus
1100 "I" Street
Modesto, California 95353

Stephen Dietrich, Jr. County Counsel, County of Tuolumne
Courthouse
Sonora, California 95370

Leo Milich
City Attorney, Cities of Escalon and Riverbank
Bush, Ackley, Milich & Hallinan
6721 Third Avenue
Riverbank, California 95367

Elwyn L. Johnson City Attorney, City of Modesto
801 11th Street
Modesto, California 95353

Hartley H. Bush City Attorney, City of Oakdale
Bush, Ackley, Milich & Hallinan
366 West "F" Street
Oakdale, California 95361

Thelen, Marrin, Johnson & Bridges
111 Sutter Street
San Francisco, California 94104

Counsel for Defendants
David E. Golay Asst. U.S. Attorney
450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, California