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Los Angeles, City of v. Dickson

ELR Citation: 51 ELR 20133
Nos. 19-71581, (9th Cir., 07/08/2021)

In an unpublished opinion, the Ninth Circuit granted in part and dismissed in part a challenge to two FAA actions concerning a revised flight path at Los Angeles International Airport. The cities of Los Angeles and Culver City argued the FAA violated NEPA, the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and §4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act by issuing three amended flight procedures for arriving aircraft without environmental review. The court found that the agency's application of a categorical exclusion was arbitrary and capricious, that its failure to consult with the cities violated the NHPA, and that its failure to acknowledge its §4(f) consultation obligation in its initial environmental review violated the Department of Transportation Act. The cities also argued FAA violated the APA, NEPA, and due process by posting a disclaimer on its website stating it would not consider environmental comments submitted through the site, but the court found it lacked jurisdiction because the notice did not have a direct and immediate effect nor require immediate compliance. The court therefore granted in part and dismissed in part the cities' petition for review.