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Greater Yellowstone Coalition v. Flowers

ELR Citation: 34 ELR 20019
Nos. No. 03-8034, (10th Cir., 03/02/2004)

The court upholds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (the Corps) issuance of a Clean Water Act (CWA) §404 dredge and fill permit for the construction of a golf course and upscale housing development. Contrary to environmental groups' claim, the Corps' level of effort and documentation in its CWA alternatives analysis and its conclusion that the 359-acre proposal was the least damaging practicable alternative were not arbitrary or capricious. Even assuming that the groups' suggested alternatives may incrementally reduce impacts to bald eagles by removing specific features from the 400-meter radius around their nests, the record suggests that these measures would not be significant relative to the impact on eagles of the development as a whole. Similarly, the Corps' decision not to prepare an environmental impact statement and its consideration of alternatives under the National Environmental Policy Act was not arbitrary and capricious.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Timothy J. Preso
Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund
11 E. Main St., Bozeman MT 59715
(406) 586-9699

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