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Bayou St. John Improvement Ass'n v. Sands

ELR Citation: 13 ELR 20011
Nos. No. 81-1358-EJB, (E.D. La., 06/17/1982) Injunction modified

The court modifies an order, 13 ELR 20003, enjoining a flood protection project because of the Army Corps of Engineers' failure to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) before granting a §404 permit under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. The court finds the Corps' determination that the submerged grassbeds were not wetlands as defined in its regulations to be reasonable. The court next denies defendants' motion to lift the injunction for all except the bayou's west shore levee. Applying the reasonableness standard, it also rules that the Corps thoroughly analyzed the environmental effects of the project in the environmental impact assessment and reasonably concluded that such effects were minimal. Therefore, it denies plaintiff's motion that an environmental impact statement (EIS) be prepared. The court finds that the Corps' decision not to prepare an EIS and its compliance with NEPA cannot be determined until the bayou's eligibility for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places has been determined. However, the court modifies the injunction to allow elements of the project not related to flood protection to proceed because those activities would have no impact on the environment or on the bayou's eligibility for the National Register.

[Prior ruling are listed at 13 ELR 20003 — Ed.]

Counsel are listed at 13 ELR 20003.