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Delaware Valley Citizens' Council for Clean Air v. Pennsylvania

ELR Citation: 13 ELR 20426
Nos. Nos. 76-2068, 77-619, 551 F. Supp. 827/18 ERC 1451/(E.D. Pa., 11/09/1982) Injunction modified

Following the court's previous order, 12 ELR 20191, enjoining the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) from awarding highway funds to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a sanction for its failure to implement an automobile inspection and maintenance program, the court disapproves for the most part the commonwealth's request for funds for certain projects under an exception to the order for air quality and safety improvement projects. In the court's previous order, it imposed the requirement that DOT certify in writing that a proposed project be for safety or air quality improvement before it could be approved by the court. Of the seven projects certified by the Secretary, the court approves funds for two road marking projects because it determines that their only purpose is safety. However, it denies approval of the remaining five projects—to replace a closed bridge, to modernize a main highway, to complete I-95 near the Philadelphia airport, to purchase rights-of-way for two bridges, and to correct a slide condition—because it finds that the proposed projects are primarily for the convenience of motorists rather than to correct hazardous conditions. In addition, the completion of I-95 will actually increase air emissions rather than improve air quality since it will encourage increased vehicle use. Finally, the court notes that any inconvenience to the citizens of Pennsylvania may be remedied by the state legislature.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Jerome Balter, James Lenard
Public Interest Law Center
1315 Walnut St., Philadelphia PA 19107
(215) 735-7200

Stephen D. Ramsey
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-5271

Counsel for Defendants
John M. Hrubovcak, Ward T. Williams, Ass't Attorneys General
Office of Chief Counsel
Department of Transportation, Transportation & Safety Bldg., Harrisburg PA 17120
(717) 787-2330

Kenneth Gelburd, Deputy Attorney General
Department of Environmental Resources
Fulton Bldg., P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg PA 17120
(717) 787-2814