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Conservation Soc'y of S. Vt. v. Volpe

Citation: 2 ELR 20270
No. No. 6598, 343 F. Supp. 761/4 ERC 1226/(D. Vt., 06/02/1972)

Where design approval of two segments of Route 7 in Vermont was not obtained until after January 1, 1970, the effective date of NEPA, and where those segments are of potential environmental significance, §102(2)(C) of NEPA requires that an environmental impact statement be filed for them. The balancing test suggested in Environmental Law Fund v. Volpe, 2 ELR 20225 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 22, 1972), which established factors to be considered in deciding whether an impact statement is required for a highway, given design approval prior to January 1, 1970, is adopted. Where design approval was obtained on a third segment before January 1, 1970, but the highway has not become so finally planned in engineering detail as to be ready to submit to bid, and where there has been a prima facie showing that that segment will cause serious environmental harm, an impact statement is required. But where the design of the remaining segment is at an advanced stage of progress, was approved before January 1, 1970, is independent of the other three segments, is of considerable traffic importance, and will have no foreseeable adverse ecological or environmental effects, no impact statement is required.

Counsel for Plaintiff:
Harvey Carter
Williams, Witten & Carter
115 Elm St.
Bennington, Vt. 05201

Counsel for Defendants:
Norman Cohen Assistant U.S. Attorney
Federal Bldg.
Box 590
Rutland, Vt. 05701