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Friends of the Earth v. Weinberger

ELR Citation: 13 ELR 20573
Nos. No. 83-0053, 562 F. Supp. 265/19 ERC 1264/(D.D.C., 04/12/1983)

The court dismisses as moot claims that the Secretary of Defense's closely spaced basing mode proposal (CSB) for the MX missile violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The court rules that although the Defense Department submitted the CSB to Congress without an environmental impact statement (EIS) required by NEPA, Congress rendered any court action under NEPA moot when it passed the Jackson amendment, which rejected the CSB, called for a new proposal, and exempted that proposal from NEPA's EIS requirement. Congress' rejection of the MX was not total—it did allocate funds for the project until the new proposal was ready—but the court rules that Congress has rejected all prior basing proposals. Further, the court notes that the legislative history suggests that although Congress intended to keep siting proposals subject to NEPA, it intended to release all aspects of the basing decisions from the EIS requirement.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Kenneth N. Goldenberg
Center for Law in the Public Interest
1575 I St. NW, Suite 650, Washington DC 20005
(202) 371-0199

Counsel for Defendants
Robert D. Daniel
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2724