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Como-Falcon Community Coalition, Inc. v. Department of Labor

Citation: 9 ELR 20755
No. No. 79-1165, 609 F.2d 342/13 ERC 1903/(8th Cir., 11/19/1979) Aff'd

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirms a district court's judgment, 9 ELR 20383, upholding the Department of Labor's determination not to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) in connection with the establishment of a Job Corps center in a residential neighborhood. The court first rejects appellants' argument that a public hearing was required prior to the making of the negative determination. While the policies underlying the NationalEnvironmental Policy Act (NEPA) favor increased public participation in agency decision making, the Act contains no express provision mandating public hearings. The court goes on to affirm the lower court's ruling that an EIS was not required in this case, but it vacates the decision below to the extent that it required the appellees to augment the administrative record supporting their negative determination. The social and economic effects of the federal action in question are not encompassed by NEPA except where they accompanying direct environmental effects, which is not the case here. Thus, there was no need for the agency to consider them when deciding whether to prepare an EIS.

Counsel for Appellants
Ronald J. Riach
Franke, Riach & Franke
2233 N. Hamline Ave., St. Paul MN 55113
(612) 636-6400

Counsel for Appellees
Francis X. Hermann, Ass't U.S. Attorney
316 N. Robert St., St. Paul MN 55101
(612) 725-7171

Harold L. Robinson
Office of the Solicitor
Department of Labor, Fed. Office Bldg., 230 S. Dearborn St., Chicago IL 60604
(312) 353-7256

Carl Strass
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-4427

William P. Marshall, Special Ass't Attorney General
102 State Capitol, St. Paul MN 55155
(612) 296-2591

Lay, J. (joined by Ross and Henley, JJ.)