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Chelsea Neighborhood Ass'ns v. U.S. Postal Serv.

Citation: 5 ELR 20373
No. No. 75-6005, 516 F.2d 378/7 ERC 1957/(2d Cir., 04/30/1975)

The court upholds a preliminary injunction against construction by the Postal Service of a block-long vehicle maintenance facility, (VMF) in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City pending preparation of a NEPA impact statement. The court finds that the broad exemption from certain categories of federal law contained in §410 of the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 was aimed at promoting efficient day-to-day management of the Service and did not exempt it from NEPA requirements. An impact statement prepared on a voluntary basis by the Service is held inadequate in that it fails to deal with the social and financial impacts on the community of a proposed housing project which will utilize the air rights above the VMF, largely ignores the possibility that the housing project may never be constructed, and lacks a detailed analysis of alternatives. The court does hold out the possibility of a stay of the injunction for the limited purpose of allowing the service, at its own risk, to accept a bid on the project on the assumption that a valid EIS favoring the facility can be prepared and filed in the near future. Plaintiff-Appellees' Clean Air Act claim against the VMF is not dealt with since there is no final order of the district court on that issue.

Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellees
Peter A. A. Berle
Albert K. Butzel
Peter J. Millock
Berle, Butzel & Kass
425 Park Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10022

Counsel for Defendant-Appellants
Paul J. Curran U.S. Attorney
John S. Siffert
Mel P. Barkan Asst. U.S. Attorneys
U.S. Courthouse
Foley Square
New York, N.Y. 10007