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Brooks v. Volpe

Citation: 2 ELR 20704
No. No. 9144, 350 F. Supp. 269/4 ERC 1492/(W.D. Wash., 08/04/1972) On remand

For the opinion of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (dated March 2, 1972), see 2 ELR 20139. On remand, the district court ejoins further construction on a partially complete federally assisted interstate highway and denies defendants' motion for order of compliance. The court holds that the Secretary of Transportation failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Department of Transportation Act. The NEPA impact statement lacks sufficient supporting detail and objective data based upon research required by statute and was prepared so quickly that federal reviewers could neither have given adequate consideration to environmental harm nor have had sufficient information to reach an independent decision. The statement was additionally lacking because the defendants failed to give adequate public notice of its existence. The Department of Transportation Act §4 (f) certification and statement is similarly defective because it was essentially conclusory and the Secretary could not have independently concluded that there were no feasible and prudent alternative routes to the one chosen.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
J. Richard Aramburu
505 Madison
Seattle, Washington

Counsel for Defendants
Stan Pitkin U.S. Attorney
United States Courthouse
1010 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98104

Thomas R. Garlington Assistant State Attorney General
5th Floor Highway Licenses Building
Olympia, Washington 98504