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San Diego Navy Broadway Complex Coalition v. United States Department of Defense

ELR Citation: 46 ELR 20067
Nos. 12-57234, (9th Cir., 03/30/2016)

The Ninth Circuit held that the government complied with NEPA when it issued a FONSI in connection with the redevelopment of a 15-acre waterfront site owned by the U.S. Navy in downtown San Diego. The site serves as the home to several non-operational, administrative components of the U.S. Navy, and the current on-site Navy facilities were built more than seven decades ago. Civic groups argued that the government should have prepared a supplemental EIS on the potential for terrorist attacks at the redeveloped site. The court's ruling in San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 449 F.3d 1016, 36 ELR 20101 (9th Cir. 2006), requires the government to address the environmental consequences of a possible terrorist attack at the site. Here, the government met that requirement when it considered the relevant factors in its “hard look” at potential terrorism. In addition, it did not abuse its discretion in determining that there was no significant impact from the possible environmental effects of potential terrorism at the site. As such, a supplemental EIS was not required.