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Environmental Defense Fund v. Tennessee Valley Auth.

Citation: 2 ELR 20044
No. No. 7720, 339 F. Supp. 806/3 ERC 1553/(E.D. Tenn., 01/11/1972)

The Tellico Project planned by the Tennessee Valley Authority for the Little Tennessee River was authorized by Congress and TVA in 1966. The project, which contemplates innundation of 16,500 acres including sites of historical, aesthetic and archeological significance, includes planned construction of a new community of some 40,000 people. Almost half of the project funds have been expended, a four-lane steel bridge and concrete dam built and some 8 miles of road relocated. Although TVA filed an environmental impact statement in June, 1971, it now claims that the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) does not require the filing of the statement. The court characterized TVA's Section 102 statement as comprehensive in scope but conclusionary. In particular, the cost-benefit analysis was unsupported by data, and the negative comments of a regional development district were ignored. The court held further that since the Tellico Project is funded by annual Congressional appropriations, and, since such appropriations are "legislation" within the requirements of NEPA, that Section 102 Statements accompany proposed legislation, an adequate Section 102 Statement is required for Tellico Project. Preliminary injunction issued.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Jon T. Brown
1700 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20006

Counsel for Defendants
Beauchamp Brogan Assistant General Council
Tennessee Valley Authority
Knoxville, Tennessee 37902