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Sierra Club v. Corps of Eng'rs

Citation: 12 ELR 20742
No. No. 81 Civ. 3000, 541 F. Supp. 1367/17 ERC 1949/(S.D.N.Y., 06/30/1982) Injunction continued

The district court enjoins the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) from making any further payment for, or taking any further steps in support of, the construction of the Westway highway project in New York City, ruling that the FHWA failed to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The court rules that the FHWA was required to prepare a supplemental EIS since it knew or should have known that the 1977 EIS contained assertions concerning the project's fishery impact that were without an adequate factual basis. The court also rules that, even if it is assumed that the 1977 EIS was justified on the basis of then-existing information, the fisheries data in a subsequent study constituted significant new information demonstrating an adverse environmental impact from the project. The FHWA, in collaboration with the New York State Department of Transportation, acted in willful derogation of NEPA and Council on Environmental Quality regulations by failing to issue a supplemental EIS after receiving the new data. In addition, the court concludes that the FHWA improperly influenced, and colluded with, the Army Corps of Engineers for the purpose of avoiding preparation of an EIS in connection with the landfill permit application. The court rules that the actions of the FHWA in approving the design, location, and funding of the Westway highway project are void as to any further steps to implement the project except as approved by the court. It remands the matter to the FHWA for further proceedings in compliance with the law. In addition, it issues a final injunction against federal reimbursement to the State of New York for acquisition of a right-of-way from the City of New York for the project.

[Prior decisions in this case are reported at 12 ELR 20519 and 20533 — Ed.]

Counsel are listed at 12 ELR 20519.