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Kansas ex rel. Stephan v. Adams

Citation: 9 ELR 20798
No. No. 79-2070, 608 F.2d 861/13 ERC 1906/(10th Cir., 05/23/1979)

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirms a lower court's order denying a motion for a preliminary injunction against the termination of Amtrak passenger rail service on three routes pursuant to a plan prepared by the Secretary of Transportation. The district court ruled plaintiffs' claim that the Secretary violated the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and various other statutes was foreclosed by enactment of the Amtrak Reorganization Act of 1979 which ratified the administrative decision to eliminate the three passenger trains. The court of appeals determines plaintiffs' contention that the statute did not repeal NEPA's requirements by implication to be inapposite. The court concludes that the 1979 Act instead represents a congressional decision to design the reorganized route structure by statute. Because Congress undertook to design the passenger system directly rather than leaving that task for the Secretary to complete in further administrative proceedings, compliance with the procedural provisions of NEPA was not necessary.

Counsel for Plaintiffs-Appellants
Tom L. Green, Ass't Attorney General; Robert T. Stephan, Attorney General; Bruce E. Miller, Deputy Attorney General
State House, Topeka KS 66612
(913) 296-2215

Frederick S. Suhler, Jr., Special Ass't Attorney General; Warren Spannaus, Attorney General
102 State Capitol, St. Paul MN 55155
(612) 296-2591

Counsel for Intervening Plaintiffs-Appellants City of Nashville and Davidson County
John L. Kennedy
Law Department
Metropolitan Courthouse, Nashville TN 37201
(615) 259-6141

Counsel for Defendants-Appellees
John H. Broadley
Civil Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 724-7201

Paul F. Mickey, Jr., General Counsel; Anthony Mondello, Deputy General Counsel
National Railroad Passenger Corp.
400 N. Capitol Street, Washington DC 20001
(202) 383-3937

Holloway, J. (joined by Barrett and Logan, JJ.)