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Cummington Preservation Comm. v. Federal Aviation Admin.

Citation: 5 ELR 20696
No. No. 75-1198, 524 F.2d 241/8 ERC 1396/(1st Cir., 10/23/1975)

Although not entirely satisfactory, the Federal Aviation Administration's final environmental impact statement (EIS) for construction of a radar facility and paved access road on the summit of Bryant Mountain in Cummington, Massachusetts, meets the requirements of NEPA. Since it was not clearly erroneous, the district court's determination that the statement adequately considered the possibility of future development on Bryant Mountain and alternative locations for the facility must be upheld. The EIS is admittedly less than fully satisfactory in these areas, but it discussed these issues sufficiently so as to enable the decisionmakers to understand and consider meaningfully the factors involved and to permit an intelligent choice from among the possible sites. Under the rule of reason, the FAA was not required to evaluate the environmental costs and benefits of alternative locations outside the Commington area, since scientific evidence indicates that such sites would have a lesser potential for meeting its radar coverage requirements. The lower court's denial of plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction is affirmed.

Counsel for Plaintiff
William A. Norris
657 Salem End Road
Framingham, Mass. 01701

Counsel for Defendants
Kathryn A. Oberly
Jacques B. Gelin
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530

James N. Gabriel, U.S. Attorney
James J. O'Leary, Asst. U.S. Attorney
U.S. Courthouse
Boston, Mass. 02109

Before Coffin, C.J.; McEntee and Campbell, JJ.