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Birmingham Realty Co. v. General Servs. Admin.

Citation: 11 ELR 20025
No. No. 80-C-1013, 497 F. Supp. 1377/15 ERC 1380/(N.D. Ala., 09/30/1980)

The district court rules that the General Services Administration (GSA) did not violate the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in awarding a lease for office and courtroom space. Pursuant to §302(c)(10) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, GSA requested offers for the leasing of approximately 17,000 square feet of office space in the business area of Birmingham, Alabama, and a lease was awarded to the owner of an already existing 16,000-square-foot building. Plaintiff, whose offer had been rejected, challenged GSA's regulations governing environmental review of its actions, under which an environmental impact statement (EIS) is not required where the office space acquisitioned (1) is substantially constructed prior to the solicitation offer and (2) contains less than 20,000 square feet. The court holds that the challenged regulation is reasonable given that plaintiff failed to set forth any evidence on the environmental consequences arising out of this acquisition. Furthermore, this action addresses impacts on the socioeconomic environment rather than the physical environment, which alone are insufficient to invoke NEPA's EIS requirement. Consequently, GSA is not required to prepare and file and EIS because this is not a major federal action.

The full text of this opinion is available from ELR (15 pp. $2.50, ELR Order No. C-1229).

Counsel for Plaintiff
E. Mabry Rogers, William Bew White
Bradely, Arant, Rose & White
1500 Brown Marx Bldg., Birmingham AL 35203
(205) 252-4500

Counsel for Defendants
L. Drew Redden, William Clark
Redden, Mills & Clark
940 First Alabama Bank Bldg., Birmingham AL 35203
(205) 322-0457

Henry Froshin; J. R. Brooks, U.S. Attorney
200 Federal Bldg., Birmingham AL 35203
(205) 254-1785