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Virginia Sunshine Alliance v. Hendrie

Citation: 9 ELR 20748
No. No. 79-1989, 477 F. Supp. 68/13 ERC 1702/(D.D.C., 08/31/1979)

The court denies plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction suspending the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) designation of a transportation route for shipments of spent nuclear fuel through Portsmouth, Virginia. Plaintiffs had asserted that the designation of the transportation route (1) violated NRC's regulations which prohibit the movement of spent nuclear fuel through urban areas unless impracticable, (2) required preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and (3) alternatively required preparation of an environmental impact assessment under NEPA. The court interprets NEPA to require the agency to take a hard look at its actions, and in this case that duty was satisfied by the NRC's previous preparation of a generic EIS addressing spent fuel transportation. Plaintiffs have therefore not succeeded in showing a likelihood of success on the merits. Further, plaintiffs have not shown that they are threatened with irreparable injury because the risk of sabotage or an accident involving spent fuel shipments is remote. In light of plaintiffs' further failure to show that the issuance of injunctive relief would be in the public interest, the motion is denied.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
James B. Dougherty
1416 S St. NW, Washington DC 20009
(202) 387-7269

Counsel for Defendants
Ronald G. Gluck
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-1307

Stephen F. Eilperin, Solicitor; Richard S. Mallory
Office of the General Counsel
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555
(202) 634-3288

Counsel for Intervenors Baltimore Gas & Elec. Co. et al.
Leonard M. Trosten, Omer F. Brown, M. Reamy Ancarrow, L. Charles Landgraf
LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae
Suite 1100, 1333 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 457-7500