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Woida v. United States

Citation: 8 ELR 20305
No. No. 77- Civ.-443, 446 F. Supp. 1377/11 ERC 1492/(D. Minn., 03/10/1978)

The court denies plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction against continued rights-of-way acquisition and construction of an electric transmission line. The court disagrees with plaintiffs' contention that the final environmental impact statements (EISs) for the project are fatally defective under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in that they fail to devote adequate attention to alternatives to the power line and related environmental impacts. Under the applicable "rule of reason" test, the discussions of alternatives, though brief, were sufficient to acquaint the agency decision makers with the costs, benefits, and relative trade-offs associated with the available alternatives. Plaintiffs' argument that the supplements to the EISs were promulgated in a procedurally inadequate manner is also rejected by the court. Although under the guidelines of the Council on Environmental Quality formal EISs must be circulated in draft before being issued in final form, this requirement is not necessarily applicable to supplements which describe only insignificant deviations from previous project plans. Such supplements are intended principally to put the public and other agencies on notice of these changes. Applying the traditional test governing the issuance of injunctive relief and taking a close look at the relative balance of hardships, the court declines to grant the relief requested.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Charles K. Dayton
Dayton, Herman & Graham
800 Midland Bank Bldg., Minneapolis MN 55401
(612) 339-7633

Bruce J. Terris
1526 18th St. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 332-1882

Counsel for Defendant United States
Stephen G. Palmer, Ass't U.S. Attorney; Andrew W. Danielson, U.S. Attorney
596 U.S. Courthouse, 110 S. 4th St., Minneapolis MN 55401
(612) 332-8961

Robert T. Michel
Office of the General Counsel
Department of Agriculture, Washington DC 20250
(202) 447-2571

Counsel for Defendant United Power Ass'n
Roger C. Miller
LeVander, Gillen, Miller & Magnuson
402 Drovers Bank Bldg., South St. Paul MN 55075
(612) 451-1831

Counsel for Defendant Cooperative Power Ass'n
John E. Drawz
LeFevre, Lefler, Pearson, O'Brien & Drawz
1100 First Nat'l Bank Bldg., Minneapolis MN 55402
(612) 337-0543