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Stratford, Conn., Town of v. Federal Aviation Admin.

ELR Citation: 32 ELR 20604
Nos. No. 99-1507, 285 F.3d 84/(D.C. Cir., 04/09/2002)

The court holds that a town lacked prudential standing to pursue its claims that the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) environmental impact statement (EIS) for the renovation of an airport was inadequate under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and that its remaining Airports and Airways Improvement Act (AAIA) claims are without merit. The court first holds that the town meets the requirements for Article II standing because its developmental prospects are clearly impaired. However, the court holds that the town lacks prudential standing to pursue its NEPA claims against FAA because it failed to connect its claimed economic injury to any environmental effects caused by the allegedly defective EIS. In addition, the court holds that the town's claims that FAA violated the AAIA are without merit. The permitting process will ensure that the renovation will be consistent with local planning, and the town has been involved in the decisionmaking process. In addition, the court holds that the AAIA's certification requirement only applies to the location of a new runway or a major expansion of an existing runway, and the renovation plan does not contemplate either. The town argued that FAA failed to obtain a certification from the state's governor that the project will meet applicable air and water quality standards.

Counsel for Petitioner
William A. Butler
Law Offices of William A. Butler
259 Elm St., West Haven CT 06516
(203) 937-9777

Counsel for Respondents
Robert H. Oakley
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000

Silberman, J. Before Rogers and Garland, JJ.