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Fort Trumbull Conservancy, Ltd. Liab. Co. v. New London, City of

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20155
Nos. No. SC 17753, (Conn., 07/03/2007)

The court reversed a lower court decision holding that a conservancy group lacked standing under the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) to challenge a municipal development plan that called for the condemnation of property and demolition of buildings. The group sought to enjoin the plan, alleging that the city's approval of the environmental impact evaluation and its adoption of the development plan were invalid as the result of certain procedural defects. The lower court erroneously dismissed the complaint on the ground that the group had failed to make a colorable claim of unreasonable pollution under CEPA §22a-16. The complaint contains allegations of fact sufficient to support an inference that the implementation of the development plan would pose a risk of unreasonable harm to water quality, wildlife, air quality, and undeveloped land. The group also alleged far more than a mere "but for" relationship between the city's conduct and the resulting unreasonable harm to the environment. In addition, the complaint is not moot even though the plan is now 80% complete. And although the action was brought in an improper venue, it should not be dismissed. Instead, it should be transferred to the appropriate judicial district.