Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Sierra Club v. Sargent

Citation: 2 ELR 20131
No. No. 249-71C2, 3 ERC 1905/(W.D. Wash., 03/16/1972)

Plaintiffs sought to enjoin the issuance of a Refuse Act Permit by the Army Corps of Engineers to the Atlantic Richfield Company for discharges into the Puget Sound from Arco's oil refinery at Cherry Point. Plaintiffs argued both that the issuance of the permit was a major federal action significantly affecting the environment and that granting the permit would have effects beyond water quality, thus invoking the Corp's regulations which require it to prepare an environmental impact statement in such circumstances. The Corps argued that the Refuse Act Permit Program was exempted from the reach of the National Environmental Policy Act since it is an environmentally protective regulatory activity; that preparing an impact statement would be duplicative of effort; and that granting the permit would have effects only on water quality. Without a written opinion stating its grounds, the court denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment and ordered the Corps to prepare an environmental impact statement.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Thomas H. S. Brucker
Stern, Gayton, Neubauer & Brucker
Hoge Building, Second Floor
Second Avenue and Cherry Street
Seattle, Washington 98104

John D. Hoffman
Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund
311 California Street
San Francisco, California 94104

Alvin J. Ziontz
Ziontz, Pirtle & Morisset
3101 Seattle-First National Bank Bldg.
Seattle, Washington 98104

Counsel for Defendants
Martin Green
Thomas C. Lee
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530