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National Parks Conservation Ass'n v. Semonite

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20086
Nos. 17-CV-01361, -01574, (D.D.C., 05/24/2018) (Lamberth, J.)

A district court dismissed groups' NEPA and CWA claims against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in connection with its approval of a 17-mile transmission line across the James River near historic Jamestown, Virginia. The Corps took a "hard look" at the project and properly determined that no EIS was required. It properly addressed mitigation concerns, and despite the groups' arguments to the contrary, the Corps was not required to circulate a draft EA and FONSI for public review. In addition, the Corps gave due consideration to historic, cultural, scenic, and recreational values impacted by the project. Likewise, the Corps reasonably concluded that the only practicable alternative to the permitted project also required crossing the James River and would have a greater overall impact. Nor did the Corps violate the National Historic Preservation Act.