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Sierra Club v. Hodel

Citation: 5 ELR 20031
No. No. 740-73C2, 7 ERC 1463/(W.D. Wash., 10/03/1974)

The court denies a motion to reconsider its grant of summary judgment against plaintiffs who sought to enjoin the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) from furnishing electrical power to a magnesium ferrosilicon plant recently under construction. Plaintiffs' contention that BPA's NEPA impact statement for the construction of a transmission line and substation must also examine the plant's effect on the environment is in error; BPA does not have licensing or regulatory authority over the plant's operations and the power supply relationship is not sufficient to characterize plant operations as part of a federal project. Plaintiffs' assertion that the defendant has violated the Clean Air Act because the plant will generate pollution exceeding national air quality standards and will cause "significant deterioration" of air quality is also mistaken. This allegation relates to anticipated air pollution which, if it occurs, will be the responsibility of the plant and not properly attributable to the BPA's activities. The court notes that the state Department of Ecology has licensed the proposed plant's operations under the state implementation plan and prepared an EIS under the state Environmental Policy Act, and points out that plaintiffs have not challenged the adequacy of either of these actions. The court also denies a motion for an injunction pending appeal.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
William D. Rives
Davis, Wright, Todd, Reise & Jones
4200 Seattle-First Bank Building
Seattle, Wash. 98154

Counsel for Defendant
Thomas C. Lee
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530

Stan Pitkin U.S. Attorney
Bruce D. Carter Asst. U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 1227
Seattle, Wash. 98111