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Louisiana Envtl. Soc'y v. Coleman

Citation: 6 ELR 20093
No. No. 74-3087, 524 F.2d 930/(5th Cir., 11/28/1975)

The court affirms denial of a preliminary injunction against construction of an interstate highway around Shreveport, Louisiana. The record reveals that plaintiffs failed to prove that irreparable injury would occur absent injunctive relief. Construction bids have not yet been opened, and right-of-way acquisition can be reversed through divestiture. The court of appeals declines, at this preliminary injunction stage, to reach the district court's finding that the Secretary of Transportation correctly complied with § 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act in deciding to route the highway across a lake which constitutes a public recreational area. But it emphasizes that this refusal should not be construed as predicting any decision when the matter is heard on its merits. The court notes that while alternative "C" would displace a number of homes and businesses, it would be less damaging to wildlife than the route chosen by the Secretary. Relying on the Supreme Court's discussion of § 4(f) in Overton Park, the court notes that such an admittedly feasible alternative to bridging the lake must present unique problems and portend community disruption and increased costs of "extraordinary magnitudes" before it can be rejected as not "prudent."

Counsel for Plaintiffs-Appellants
Billy R. Pesnell
Van Hook, Pesnell & Van Hook
204 Milam Street
Shreveport, LA 71101
(318) 222-2177

Counsel for Defendants-Appellees
Donald E. Walter, U.S. Attorney
U.S. Courthouse
Shreveport, LA 71102
(318) 226-5277

George R. Hyde
Larry G. Gutterridge
Department of Justice
Washington, DC 20530
(202) 739-2731, 739-2740

For himself, Coleman and Gee, JJ.