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James v. Tennessee Valley Auth.

Citation: 12 ELR 21076
No. No. 3-82-76, 538 F. Supp. 704/(E.D. Tenn., 04/22/1982)

The court holds that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is not required to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) before granting a permit for the construction of an inland coal-loading port. Although TVA's National Environmental Policy Act regulations indicate that port projects normally require an EIS, the court notes that the proper standard of review is whether the TVA made a reasoned determination in its environmental impact assessment that the action causes no significant impacts. The court finds that the TVA reasonably determined that no significant noise impacts will occur and that fugitive dust emissions, controlled by water sprays, will be insignificant. In response to plaintiffs' claim that residential property values will be adversely affected, the court holds that socioeconomic effects, such as effects on property values, are insufficient to require an EIS in the absence of impacts to the physical environment. The court also holds that the record supports the agency's finding that impacts on turbidity levels and siltation in the reservoir where the port will be located, and impacts on agricultural lands and floodplains will be insignificant.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Dorothy B. Stulberg
Mostoller & Stulberg
100 Tulsa Rd., Oak Ridge TN 37830
(615) 482-4466

Counsel for Defendant
Herbert S. Sanger Jr., General Counsel
Tennessee Valley Authority
Summit Hill Dr., Knoxville TN 37902
(615) 632-2241