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Foundation on Economic Trends v. Lyng

Citation: 17 ELR 20902
No. No. 86-5452, 817 F.2d 882/25 ERC 1945/(D.C. Cir., 05/01/1987)

The court holds that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is not required to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement on its animal productivity research, since USDA's decision to focus its research on developing faster growing, more productive, and larger animals is not a proposal for action but only a general statement of policy and goals. The court finds that USDA's animal productivity research consists of projects too diverse and discrete to constitute either a "major Federal action" or activities sufficiently "systematic and connected" to require a programmatic EIS. Although USDA's research shares a common policy goal of productive efficiency, the individual research projects are not related to each other closely enough to be, in effect, a single course of action. The court rules that objectives for scientific research are not proposals for action.

Counsel for Appellants
Edward Lee Rogers
1718 P St. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 387-1600

Counsel for Appellees
Elizabeth Ann Peterson
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2000

Before: MIKVA, STARR and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.