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Hirt v. Richardson

ELR Citation: 31 ELR 20409
Nos. No. 1:99-CV-933, 127 F. Supp. 2d 849/(W.D. Mich., 01/08/2001)

The court holds that individuals' National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) suit against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) seeking to enjoin the agency from shipping the nuclear material mixed oxide uranium (MOx), from the United States and Russia to Canada is moot. The individuals claimed that DOE's environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant environmental impact for the MOx project was arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion. The court first holds, however, that because the shipments of MOX from the United States and Russia to Canada are now complete, the individuals' claims under NEPA are moot. The court can no longer grant relief to stop the shipments and there exists no other form of meaningful relief. The court next holds that although the individuals argued that what they ultimately seek is an improved EA, their complaint failed to allege any factual basis for the prospect of environmental damage after the shipments took place. Moreover, based on the foreign policy and executive branch implications of the project, the court indicated in its prior decisions that stopping the test through injunction was simply beyond its equitable powers.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Terry J. Lodge
Law Offices of Terry J. Lodge
316 N. Michigan St., Toledo OH 43624
(419) 255-7552

Counsel for Defendants
Robert I. Dodge
U.S. Attorney's Office
330 Ionia Ave. NW. Ste. 501, Grand Rapids MI 49503
(616) 456-2404