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Colony Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass'n v. Harris

ELR Citation: 10 ELR 20412
Nos. No. 79-354, 482 F. Supp. 296/14 ERC 1378/(W.D. Pa., 01/08/1980)

The court denies federal defendants' motion to dismiss a suit by a landowner alleging a violation of applicable procedural regulations with regard to an Urban Development Action grant under the Housing and Community Development Act (HCDA) for acquisition and redevelopment of blighted properties.The court dismisses all defendants other than the federal parties and the county which applied for the grant, noting that they are not subject to procedural requirements under either HCDA or the National Environmental Policy Act. The court also rejects the contention that the federal defendants were required to prepare a comprehensive environmental impact statement (EIS) for urban redevelopment projects throughout the nation. The HCDA clearly transferred to grant applicants the responsibility for EIS preparation for individual projects; the separate projects are not sufficiently related to require the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to prepare an additional programmatic impact statement. Finally, the court determines that although the federal defendants have no independent duty to evaluate the conclusions of the applicant's facially complete environmental review record, they are responsible for assuring that the procedural regulations of HUD are followed. A hearing is thus necessary on plaintiff's allegation that the federal defendants failed to remedy the county's failure to provide the required notice of the proposed project to interested parties, specifically, to owners of land within the redevelopment area.

Counsel for Plaintiff
John Alan Conte
Conte & Courtney
Conway PA 15027
(412) 869-2164

Counsel for Defendants
Judith Giltenboth, Ass't U.S. Attorney
633 U.S. Post Office & Courthouse
7th Ave. & Grant St., Pittsburgh PA 15219
(412) 644-3500

George A. Verlihay
Whitmire & Verlihay
Federal Title & Trust Bldg., Beaver Falls PA 15010
(412) 843-9250