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Daly v. Volpe

ELR Citation: 5 ELR 20257
Nos. No. 74-2566, 514 F.2d 1106/7 ERC 1778/(9th Cir., 03/20/1975) Aff'd

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a lower court's decision that the environmental impact statement for a segment of Interstate 90 near Seattle adequately fulfills the requirements of NEPA. Adopting the "without observance of procedure required by law" standard of review, the court notes that NEPA is essentially a procedural statute, and that a court cannot review the substantive decision of the agency unless it was so arbitrary or capricious as to amount to bad faith. The state highway department could properly restrict the scope of the EIS to the single segment in question, since the segment has independent utility as a bypass for a town plagued by traffic congestion, and the statement contains at least some discussion of regional alternatives and environmental considerations. Plaintiffs have failed to show that the district court erred in its determination that the impacts statement's discussion of alternatives to the segment in question was reasonable. The cost/benefit analysis contained in the EIS includes the important quantifiable elements of these various alternatives, and therefore meets the requirements of NEPA since a formal, mathematically expressed analysis is not necessary under the statute. The lower court's dissolution of an injunction against construction of the highway project is affirmed. For the lower court's ruling, see 4 ELR 20568.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Irving M. Clark, Jr.
Richard Aramburu
209 College Club Building
505 Madison Street
Seattle, WA 98104

Counsel for Defendants
George R. Hyde
Department of Justice
Washington, DC 20530

Robert McIntosh Asst. Attorney General
Temple of Justice
Olympia, WA 98504