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Akers v. Resor

Citation: 8 ELR 20388
No. No. C-70-349, 443 F. Supp. 1355/11 ERC 1169/(W.D. Tenn., 01/25/1978) Injunction continued

On review of the second environmental impact statement (EIS) prepared by the Corps of Engineers in connection with the West Tennessee Tributaries Project, the court finds the EIS inadequate under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and continues an injunction entered five years earlier against project construction pending compliance with the statute. Although the project's principal purpose is to reduce flood damage, the statement fails to describe the frequency, duration, or severity of flooding at either current or anticipated post-project levels. This omission undermines the usefulness of the document as a source of information with which Congress, the public, and the agency decision makers may analyze the merits of the project, and it renders almost meaningless the section within the EIS which discusses alternatives to the project. For these reasons, as well as the failure to assess the cumulative environmental impacts of the project in conjunction with other regional water resource projects, the statement is inadequate under NEPA. The court notes in addition that the Corps failed to solicit the views of the Soil Conservation Service, contrary to NEPA's explicit directive to consult with appropriate federal agencies and to the suggestion of the court in its earlier opinion invalidating the original EIS. Therefore, the injunction entered in that opinion shall remain in effect pending defendants' compliance with the statute.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Charles H. Warfield
Farris, Evans & Warfield
18th Fl., Third Nat'l Bank Bldg., Nashville TN 37291
(615) 244-5200

Charles F. Newman
Burch, Porter & Johnson
130 N. Court Ave., P.O. Box 3115, Memphis TN 38103
(901) 285-5074

Counsel for Defendants
W. J. Michael Cody, U.S. Attorney; W. Hickman Ewing, Ass't U.S. Attorney
1058 Federal Office Bldg., 167 N. Main St., Memphis TN 38103
(901) 534-4231

Barret Ashley
Ashley, Ashley & Lawson
322 Church Ave., P.O. Box H, Dyersburg TN 38024
(901) 285-5074

E. T. Palmer, M. Watkins Ewell, Jr.
Ewell & Palmer
Ewell Bldg., Dyersburg TN 38103
(901) 285-5074

Bobby L. Stratton
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
P.O. Box 40747, Ellington Agricultural Center, Nashville TN 37204
(615) 741-1582