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Sierra Club v. Bergland

Citation: 8 ELR 20620
No. No. WC-78-22-K, 451 F. Supp. 120/11 ERC 1643/(N.D. Miss., 04/17/1978)

Granting plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction against a channel improvement project, the court finds that the project not comply with the criteria under § 216 of the Flood Control Act of 1950 limiting the expenditure of funds to certain emergency situations. The court first holds that the decision by the Corps of Engineers and the Soil Conservation Service to apply the $216 funds is judicially reviewable because there are specific criteria in the statute by which to determine the propriety of the agency action. Second, the evidence fails to show that the project falls within the criteria prescribed by § 216. Thus, the agency decision to proceed under § 216 was an abuse of discretion in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. Finally, the court finds that the project is a major federal action significantly affecting the human environment so that an environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act is required. Plaintiffs have met the standards for a preliminary injunction to issue.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
David G. Hill
Jackson Ave., Oxford MS 38655

Counsel for Defendants
William M. Dye, Jr., Ass't U.S. Attorney
P.O. Drawer 886, Oxford MS 38655
(601) 234-3351

William C. Spencer
Fant, Crutcher, Moore and Spencer
520 Memphis St., Holly Springs MS 38635
(601) 252-3211