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Tri-Valley CAREs v. U.S. Department of Energy

ELR Citation: 42 ELR 20043
Nos. 10-17636, (9th Cir., 02/07/2012)

The Ninth Circuit held that DOE's environmental assessment of a prospective "biosafety level-3" facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory complied with NEPA. DOE took the requisite "hard look" at the threat of a direct terrorist attack at the facility. DOE also reasonably exercised its discretion in determining no significant impact from the threat of theft and release by a terrorist outsider. And DOE's discussion of the impact of the potential theft and release of a pathogen by a terrorist insider also satisfies NEPA. The court, therefore, affirmed a lower court's decision in favor of the government.