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Hudson River Sloop Clearwater v. Department of the Navy

ELR Citation: 18 ELR 20444
Nos. No. 87-6185, 836 F.2d 760/27 ERC 1081/(2d Cir., 01/08/1988) Denial of preliminary injunction aff'd

The court holds that in selecting Staten Island, New York, as the homeport for the U.S.S. Iowa and associated ships, the Navy did not violate the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by considering operational and housing aspects of the homeport in different environmental documents. The Navy had prepared an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the homeporting plan, based on no new military housing for married personnel, and then preprared a supplemental EIS covering construction of new military housing for married personnel. The court holds that NEPA does not require that the homeporting and housing construction actions be considered in a single EIS. The court holds that since the operational aspects of the homeporting plan will proceed even if family housing is not built, the actions are not connected. Second, the court holds that the Navy's treatment of the housing issue in a supplemental EIS to the homeporting EIS does not make the actions interdependent. That the Navy may have done more than was necessary to comply with the regulation is not a reason to enlarge the regulatory requirements. The test for interdependence is whether there is independent utility to the actions, which is met here because the operational aspects of the homeporting will proceed with or without the housing construction.

[A related decision appears at 17 ELR 21156.]

Counsel for Plaintiffs-Appellants
Leonard M. Marks
Gold, Farrell & Marks
41 Madison Ave., New York NY 10010
(212) 481-1700

Counsel for Defendants-Appellees
Robin L. Greenwald, Ass't U.S. Attorney
U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn NY 11201
(212) 330-7106

Before Winter, Mahoney, and Re,[*] JJ.