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Fayetteville Area Chamber of Commerce v. Volpe

ELR Citation: 2 ELR 20504
Nos. No. 71-2190, 463 F.2d 402/4 ERC 1503/(4th Cir., 07/25/1972) remanded

In a challenge to proposed bypass location of interstate highway around Fayetteville, North Carolina, case remanded to district court to ensure full federal compliance with §102(c) of NEPA and to determine required extent of state compliance under §128(a), as amended, of Federal-Aid Highways Act. Though concededly an impact statement should have been prepared by the Secretary of Transportation, record fails to indicate that this was done. District court will retain jurisdiction until satisfied that there is full compliance with NEPA. State highway department hearing held pursuant to §128(a) of Federal-Aid Highways Act only considered economic effects of proposed highway location; that section has been amended to require additional information on social, environmental, and urban planning effects. Section 128(a) amended requirements apply to an ongoing project if the project has not reached stage of completion where costs of altering or abandoning proposed location would certainly outweigh benefits to be derived therefrom. District court on remand must determine whether amended requirements apply in this case. Claim of state's alleged failure to hold a design hearing appears to have no basis. Under DOT regulation PPM 20-8, design hearings must be held after route location approval but before state highway department commitment to specific design. There is no requirement that design hearing be held prior to or contemporaneously with route location approval, the agency action complained of here. Nor is there indication as yet of state highway department commitment to specific design proposal.

Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellant
Joseph O. Tally, Jr.
Tally, Tally & Bouknight
Home Federal Building
241 Green St.
Fayetteville, NC 28302

Counsel for Defendant-Appellee
Warren H. Coolidge U.S. Attorney
United States Courthouse
Raleigh, NC

Before Boreman and Bryan, Senior Circuit Judges, and Winter, Circuit Judge.