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Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation v. North Carolina Department of Transportation

ELR Citation: 47 ELR 20001
Nos. 15-2285, (4th Cir., 12/13/2016)

The Fourth Circuit vacated for mootness a district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of conservation groups challenging the construction of a 22-mile toll road in Gaston County, North Carolina. The conservationists challenged the environmental analysis conducted by the state transportation agency and the Federal Highway Administration as a violation of NEPA and moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. Before the district court ruled, the state stripped the toll road of its funding and repealed the statute that expressly authorized its construction. On appeal, the state transportation agency contended that the case was mooted by the toll road being defunded. The appellate court agreed with the agency and rejected the conservationists' claim that the transportation agency "purposely moot[ed]" the case, since the state assembly made the decision to defund the project. The case was remanded for dismissal. 

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