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Save Our Ecosystems v. Watt

ELR Citation: 13 ELR 20887
Nos. No. 83-6090-E, 20 ERC 1617/(D. Or., 05/09/1983) Injunction issued

The court rules that the "worst-case" analysis prepared in an environmental impact statement (EIS) for proposed herbicide spraying on public lands in Oregon is inadequate. The Council on Environmental Quality's National Environmental Policy Act regulations requre agencies to discuss the results and probability of a "worst case" when proceeding in the face of uncertainty. The worst-case analysis for the herbicide program is deficient because it fails to assume for purposes of discussion that the herbicides are carcinogens and mutagens since some of the scientific literature indicates that the herbicide 2,4-D does cause cancer. Because the EIS discusses only the probable consequences of spraying, not the worst possible consequences together with their probability, it is inadequate. The court enjoins further spraying until a proper analysis is prepared.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Ralph A. Bradley
Bradley & Gordon
1397 Willamette St., Eugene OR 97401
(503) 343-8247

John E. Bonine
1052 W. 10th St., Eugene OR 97402
(503) 345-2095

Counsel for Defendant
Charles H. Turner, U.S. Attorney; Thomas C. Lee, Ass't U.S. Attorney
312 U.S. Cthse., 620 SW Main St., Portland OR 97205
(503) 221-2101