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Wisconsin Heritages, Inc. v. Harris

ELR Citation: 10 ELR 20674
Nos. No. 78-C-632, 490 F. Supp. 1334/14 ERC 1898/(E.D. Wis., 06/05/1980) Dismissed

The district court dismisses an action brought under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) challenging the funding by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) of the proposed demolition of a historic mansion in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The court first denies as "untimely" plaintiff's motion to file a supplemental complaint attacking HUD's draft and final environmental impact statements (EISs). Such criticisms must be raised during, rather than a year after, the period for comment on the draft EIS. Furthermore, the litigation should not be prolonged since defendants' previous consent to an extension of an injunction halting demolition until March 1, 1980, was given in reliance upon plaintiff's assurance that it would withdraw from the case if funds for relocating the structure were not procured by that date. Granting defendants' motion for summary judgment, the court finds that HUD's EIS complies with NEPA's requirement that adequate consideration be given to alternative courses of action and that the action proposed in the final EIS is neither arbitrary nor capricious. For reasons set out in an earlier ruling in this case, 9 ELR 20082, the court determines that the NHPA is inapplicable to the agency action challenged in this case. Nor would the NHPA entitle plaintiff to relief in any event since HUD took adequate notice both of the adverse impact of the demolition and of the views of the Advisory Council on Historical Preservation in making its decision.

Counsel are listed at 10 ELR 20142.