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New England Power Co. v. Goulding

Citation: 9 ELR 20685
No. No. 79-1889, 486 F. Supp. 18/13 ERC 1639/(D.D.C., 08/21/1979) Preliminary injunction denied

The court denies plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction barring the proposed transfer of the Rhode Island Naval Auxiliary Landing Field from the General Services Administration to several other federal agencies. After preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) addressing possible alternative uses of the retired facility, defendants determined not to convey all or part of the facility to plaintiffs for use as a nuclear power plant site but to select a plan under which the land would be used jointly as a wildlife refuge, recreational area, and an environmental research station. The court finds that plaintiffs have not made a substantial showing of likelihood of success on the merits of their claims that (1) the EIS devoted inadequate attention to the alternative calling for use of the facility both as a nuclear power plant site and for wildlife and recreational purposes, (2) the transaction violates the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act because of defendants' failure to show adequately that the alternative selected represented the highest and best use of the facility, (3) that defendants' decision was arbitrary and capricious and thus contrary to the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, and (4) the determination was tainted by bias on the part of defendant Goulding. In addition, the court finds that the parties are not so situated that the balance of harms and the public interest favor the issuance of preliminary injunctive relief. The motion is therefore denied.

The circuit court of appeals denies appellants' motion for a stay of the district court's denial of its motion for a preliminaryinjunction against the proposed conveyance of the Rhode Island Naval Landing Field, ruling that appellants have not demonstrated a substantial case on the merits.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Harold Himmelman
Beveridge, Fairbanks & Diamond
One Farragut Square NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 638-7800

Counsel for Defendants
Lawrence R. Liebesman, Nancy Stanley
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2730

Anthony S. Borwick
Office of the General Counsel
General Services Administration, Washington DC 20405
(202) 566-1200

Counsel for Intervenors Town of Charlestown
William S. Jordan, III, Karin Sheldon
Sheldon, Harmon, Roisman & Weiss
1725 I St. NW, Washington DC 20005
(202) 833-9070