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Sierra Club v. Mason

Citation: 2 ELR 20694
No. No. B-582, 351 F. Supp. 419/4 ERC 1686/(D. Conn., 10/31/1972) Preliminary injunction issued

In a suit to enjoin the dredging of the New Haven, Conn. harbor and the deposit of the dredged materials into Long Island Sound because of the failure of the Army Corps of Engineers to prepare an environmental impact statement, plaintiff Sieera Club has standing in that it alleges injury in fact to its members. Plaintiff's failure to in members as parties is not fatal to its cause, and many of the specific uses of the New Haven harbor area and Long Island Sound by plaintiff's members, especially swimming and fishing, are readily seen to be subject to injury by defendants' proposed actions.

The project cannot be exempted from the coverage of NEPA either on the ground that it is a maintenance project or on the ground that the proposed dredging is an ongoing project. Though obviously related to the previously completed project of building the harbor, the dredging project has a life of its own. Since the project, in and of itself, has the potential for harm to the environment, it is precisely the type of project for which NEPA requires the preparation of an impact statement.

The preliminary injunction is granted. Whatever short-term economic loss is faced by shippers is outweighed by the long-term risks to the environment.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Haynes N. Johnson
460 Summer Street
Stamford, Connecticut 06901

Davidson & Chambliss
520 Riverside Avenue
Westport, Connecticut 06880

Alfred S. Forsyth
Forsyth, Decker, Murray & Broderick
51 West 51st St.
New York, New York 10019

John Hoffman
Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, Inc
311 California St.
San Francisco, Calif. 94104

Counsel for Defendant
Stewart H. Jones U.S. Attorney
Howard S. Eckenrode Ass't. U.S. Attorney
Main Street
Hartford, Conn. 06103