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Environmental Defense Fund v. Higginson

Citation: 9 ELR 20329
No. No. 78-1135, 12 ERC 1351/(D.D.C., 04/25/1979) Motion to dismiss denied

The court denies a motion to dismiss a suit seeking a declaratory judgment that the Bureau of Reclamation must prepare a comprehensive environmental impact statement (CEIS) analyzing existing and future water resource projects and operations in the Colorado River Basin by a certain date. The acquiesence of defendants in plaintiffs' contention that the National Environmental Police Act (NEPA) requires preparation of a CEIS does not deprive the court of jurisdiction for want of a case or controversy since there is an actual, unfeigned dispute as to when the CEIS is required and since the defendants' limited acquiescence in plaintiffs' position is subject to later repudiation. The intervention of four states who contect the assertion that NEPA requires a CEIS in this case provides an independent factor satisfying the Declaratory Judgment Act's requirement for an actual controversy.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
William M. Butler
Environmental Defense Fund, Inc.
1525 18th St. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 833-1484

Counsel for Defendants
William M. Cohen, David C. Cannon, Jr.
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2775