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National Wildlife Fed'n v. Goldschmidt

Citation: 12 ELR 20771
No. Nos. 81-6179, -6189, 677 F.2d 259/18 ERC 1066/(2d Cir., 04/30/1982) Aff'd

The Second Circuit affirms two district court decisions finding that the Department of Transportation (DOT) complied with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Department of Transportation Act in approving the I-84/I-86 connecting highway, 12 ELR 20054, and dismissing as unripe a NEPA challenge to two proposed additions to I-84, all in Connecticut. The court finds that the district court reasonably determined that since the connecting highway had a utility independent of the challenged additions to I-84 its separate environmental impact statement (EIS) was sufficient. In addition, the district court properly ruled that a challenge to the final EIS for the proposed additions to I-84 was unripe. Under the Administrative Procedure Act only final agency actions are ripe for judicial review. Since the decision as to whether and where to build the new sections of I-84 in Connecticut must await resolution of a dispute over the location of the connecting section in Rhode Island, the projects are, in effect, still under study and there is no final agency action to review. By allowing project design to go forward, DOT did not take sufficiently final action for judicial review, there it has not approved land acquisition or construction for the project.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Daniel Millstone, Litigation Director
Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Inc.
152 Temple St., New Haven CT 06510
(203) 787-0646

Sister Arlene Violet
70 S. Main St., Providence RI 02903
(401) 861-3290

Counsel for Defendants
Jacques B. Gelin, Anthony C. Liotta, Robert L. Klarquist, Ezra D. Rosenberg
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2762

Susan T. Pearlman; Carl R. Ajello, Attorney General
Capitol Annex, 30 Trinity St., Hartford CT 06115
(203) 566-2026

Winter, J. (joined by Cardamone and Conner,* JJ.)