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Friends of the Earth v. Brinegar

Citation: 5 ELR 20223
No. No. 74-3490, 518 F.2d 322/7 ERC 1815/(9th Cir., 03/17/1975) Granting reduction of bond

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reduces from $4,500,000 to $1,000 the bond which plaintiffs must post in order for a previously granted injunction pending appeal to take effect in an action to compel preparation of a NEPA impact statement prior to expansion of the San Francisco International Airport. The fact that the court has already granted the injunction implies that plaintiff-appellants are likely to succeed on the merits, and this circumstance, along with the recognition that in NEPA Congress sacrificed some efficiency and economy in order to further a strong policy of environmental protection, leads the court to conclude that the $4,500,000 bond imposed by the district court is unreasonable. The court notes that in this case a private organization and several citizens, with limited resources, obtained an interlocutory injunction against construction by a governmental entity, a situation which is materially different from cases where a state, with ample resources to post a large bond, obtains an interlocutory injunction against construction by a private party.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
John D. Leshy
Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.
664 Hamilton Avenue
Palo Alto, Cal. 94301

William P. Hoffman
Ferguson, Hoffman, Henn & Mandel
1365 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, Cal. 94133

Counsel for Defendants
Thomas M. O'Connor City Attorney
206 City Hall
San Francisco, Cal. 94102