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Wilds v. South Carolina Dep't of Transp.

ELR Citation: 31 ELR 20664
Nos. No. 00-1808, 9 Fed. Appx. 114/(4th Cir., 05/09/2001)

The court holds that the U.S. Department of Transportation and the South Carolina Department of Transportation did not violate the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by segmenting their environmental analysis for federally funded highway projects in South Carolina into two projects and by not issuing a final environmental assessment (EA). The court first holds that although NEPA does not allow segmenting a project into smaller parts to avoid preparation of an environmental impact statement, the departments did not improperly segment the projects at issue here because each project had independent utility and logical termini. The court next holds that the EA adequately addressed air quality and induced growth impacts for the projects and considered alternatives. The court further holds that the departments gave proper notice of the public hearing and did not act improperly by issuing a final EA on the same day as the finding of no significant impact.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Charles R. Shearer
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft
1333 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Ste. 700, Washington DC 20036
(202) 862-2200

Counsel for Defendants
John L. Smeltzer
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000

Before Niemeyer, Luttig, and Williams, JJ.