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Essex County Preservation Ass'n v. Campbell

Citation: 5 ELR 20568
No. No. 74-2680-M, 399 F. Supp. 208/7 ERC 2136/(D. Mass., 07/09/1975)

Even though the environmental impact statement for the federally-funded widening of I-95 in Massachusetts seems comprehensive and was reviewed, discussed and revised by federal officials during its preparation, the statement fails to meet the procedural requirements of NEPA since it was prepared by the engineering firm which designed the project. The firm had a financial and professional interest in seeing the project approved, and may have carelessly discarded or buried beneath a pile of benign facts essential base data. Preparation and circulation of a supplemental impact statement is also required because there has been a change in the circumstances surrounding the project on which the public has not been given an opportunity to comment. In addition, the Federal Highway Administration illegally failed to approve the state-submitted action plan describing the economic, environmental and social effects of the highway expansion prior to granting federal plans, specifications and estimates approval for the project. After balancing the equities and noting the complex fact situation and less than clear nature of the law in this area, however, the court denies plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction because it cannot find that either (1) irreparable harm will result if construction continues, (2) plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits, or (3) the public interest requires issuance of an injunction at this time.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Thomas B. Arnold
Epstein, Salloway & Kaplan
131 State St.
Boston, Mass. 02109

Haynes N. Johnson
Alphonse R. Noe
Parmelee, Johnson & Bollinger
460 Summer St.
Stamford, Conn. 06901

Counsel for Defendants
Dennis Ditelberg Asst. Attorney General
State Office Building
100 Commonwealth St.
Boston, Mass. 02202

William A. Brown U.S. Attorney
John F. Kennedy Federal Building
Boston, Mass. 02203