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Environmental Defense Fund v. Corps of Eng'rs

Citation: 2 ELR 20536
No. No. EC 72-11-K, 348 F. Supp. 916/4 ERC 1408/(N.D. Miss., 08/04/1972) Injunction dissolved, complaint dismissed

The preliminary injunction restraining defendants from proceeding with the implementation of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, a navigation project in Alabama and Mississippi which is expected to create a new, inter-regional trade route between the Gulf Coast and much of the mid-continent region of the United States, is dissolved, and the complaint is dismissed. About 40,000 acres of artificially impounded water surface will be created, 170 miles of tributary streams and 140 miles of river will lose their identity as free-flowing streams, and 70,000 acres of land will be committed. Although § 102 does create specific procedural requirements, NEPA neither creates substantive rights nor procedural authorizes the court to substitute its opinion for that of the decisionmakers as to the wisdom or desirability of the Tennessee-Tombigbee project. The requirements of § 102 (2) (A) and (B) are satisfied by the use of an interdisciplinary team of scientists to study the areas affected by the project, the environmental problems associated with the project, and the probable environmental impacts. The § 102 (2) (C) impact statement does not disclose all known possible environmental consequences, but is nevertheless adequate in that the significant aspects of the probable environmental impact are thoroughly discussed. Environmental studies undertaken after completion of the impact statement with a view toward mitigation of environmental damage are not indicative of a failure to indentify significant impacts (excerpts from the final environmental impact statement appended to the opinion are available from ELI as Document 4-20-71 COE (16 pp. $1.60). For the decision of the District Court of the District of Columbia in issuing the preliminary injunction, see 1 ELR 20466.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Jon T. Brown
Duncan and Brown
Suite 990
1700 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C.
(202) 296-4325

Richard S. Arnold
Arnold and Arnold
P.O. Box 1938
Texarkana, Arkansas 75501
(501) 773-3187

Counsel for Defendant
Irwin Goldbloom Special Litigation Counsel
A. T. Giattini
Civil Division
Department of Justice
9th & Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
(202) 739-3446