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Greenpeace Seattle v. Weinberger

Citation: 12 ELR 20260
No. No. C81-214R, 17 ERC 1209/(W.D. Wash., 01/21/1982)

The district court upholds the Department of the Navy's determination that the construction and operation of a water pit facility at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for the handling and temporary storage of radioactive fuel modules does not require the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS). The water pit facility will give the shipyard the capability to refuel nuclear powered warships. The Navy prepared an environmental impact assessment, which concluded that the facility would not have a significant impact on the environment and that, therefore, no EIS was required. The court rules that the Navy's finding of no significant environmental impact was reasonable. The Navy properly assessed every credible condition which could result in environmental harm and was not required to consider events so remote as to be mere possibilities. The Navy reasonably considered all potential adverse environmental consequences related to earthquakes. Finally, the court notes that, in essence, the project is designed to enable the shipyard to perform the same type of work it has previously supported and that it need not conclude that an EIS is required simply because the project involves nuclear fuel or radioactive material.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Linda Collier
114 Prefontaine Place S., Seattle WA 98104
(206) 228-5262

Laurence J. Severance
16233 14th Ave. NE, Seattle WA 98155
(206) 323-6810

Counsel for Defendants
Robert Taylor, Ass't U.S. Attorney
800 5th Ave., Seattle WA 98104
(206) 442-7970