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Concerned Citizens of Bushkill Township v. Costle

ELR Citation: 9 ELR 20095
Nos. No. 78-1745, 592 F.2d 164/12 ERC 1625/(3d Cir., 01/09/1979)

The court affirms a lower court's grant of a continuance, pending preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS), in an evidentiary hearing on the intervening defendant sewer authority's request for an injunction ordering the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue processing grant funds for a proposed sewer interceptor and collector system extending into rural areas. Plaintiffs, alleging that the proposed project would have significant environmental effects and that preparation of an EIS was thus required, had previously stipulated with the other parties that no further approvals would be granted or contracts awarded until after the trial court decision. EPA then informed the court that it had decided to hold approval of the project in abeyance until it had prepared an EIS. In denying the sewer authority's subsequent request for injunctive relief, the district court held that the original stipulation would remain in full force as to EPA. Given the National Environmental Policy Act's requirement that agencies consider the environmental effects of a planned action for which resources have not yet been irretrievably committed, the district court did not abuse its discretion in postponing the evidentiary hearing on the request for an injunction to allow EPA a reasonable period of time to prepare an impact statement and reconsider the project. The case is remanded for further consideration in light of the EIS, which should now be available.

Counsel for Plaintiffs-Appellees
George J. Miller
Dechert, Price & Rhoads
3400 Centre Square West, 1500 Market St., Philadelphia PA 19102
(215) 972-3400

Gary Neil Asteak
726 Walnut St., Easton PA 18042
(215) 252-0768

Counsel for Defendants-Appellees
James W. Moorman, Ass't Attorney General., Jacques B. Gelin, Robert L. Klarquist
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2762

Robert N. DeLuca, U.S. Attorney; Robert S. Forster, Jr., Ass't U.S. Attorney
3310 U.S. Courthouse, 601 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 597-2556

Gerald H. Yamada
Office of the General Counsel
Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC 20460
(202) 755-2511

Counsel for Intervening Defendant-Appellant
Charles S. Smith
Suite 203, 1101 Bldg., 11th and Northampton St., Easton PA 18042
(215) 253-2715

David Sive
Winer, Neuberger & Sive
425 Park Ave., New York NY 10022
(212) 421-2150

Counsel for Amicus Curiae Township of Bushkill
Joseph M. Reibman
Reibman & Reibman
711 Lehigh St., Easton PA 18042
(215) 258-2349

Gibbons & Rosenn, JJ., concur.