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Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. v. Callaway

ELR Citation: 7 ELR 20377
Nos. Nos. 74-1190, -1191, 431 F. Supp. 722/9 ERC 2153/(D.D.C., 05/02/1977) Motion to dismiss denied, preliminary injunction dissolved

The court denies defendants' motion to dismiss this suit for a declaratory judgment that the Corps of Engineers' final environmental impact statement (EIS) for a revised proposal for legislative authorization of reconstruction of Lock and Dam 26 on the upper Mississippi River is inadequate. The adequacy of an impact statement prepared in conjunction with a recommendation on a proposal for legislation is subject to judicial review at the behest of a private plaintiff. Congress intended that such statements provide detailed information to members of the public to permit them to participate in a meaningful way in decisionmaking at the legislative level. The court holds that this case is justiciable even though Congress has not yet acted on the proposal because the court can issue effective declaratory relief. The court emphasizes that plaintiffs are not seeking to enjoin transmission of the proposal to Congress, a form of relief which would interfere substantially with the legislative process. The court also rules that plaintiffs have standing to maintain this action under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act. Preparation of a less than adequate EIS will injure their interest in participating in the legislative process concerning the proposed authorization for reconstruction of Lock and Dam 26 by denying them access to important information regarding the project's environmental effects. The court therefore orders defendants to respond to plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. The preliminary injunction previously issued against reconstruction according to an initial plan is dissolved, however, because the Corps' approval of that plan has been withdrawn.

Counsel for Plaintiffs Izaak Walton League of America, et al.
Joseph V. Karaganis, Sanford R. Gail
Karaganis & Gail
180 N. La Salle St., Chicago IL 60601
(312) 782-1905

Jon T. Brown
Duncan, Brown, Weinberg & Palmer
Suite 777, 1700 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 296-4325

Counsel for Plaintiffs Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry., et al.
Joseph D. Feeney, General Counsel; Stuart E. Vaughn
Western Railroad Association
222 S. Riverside Plaza, Chicago IL 60606
(312) 648-7812

Counsel for Plaintiff-Intervenor State of Wisconsin
Richard Boyd, Ass't Attorney General
Department of Justice
114 E. State Capitol, Madison WI 53702
(608) 226-1221

Counsel for Defendants
Fred R. Disheroon, Irwin L. Schroeder
Department of Justice
Washington DC 20530
(202) 737-8200

Counsel for Defendant-Intervenor Association for Improvement of the Mississippi River
Ramsay D. Potts, George V. Allen, Jr., Barry M. Smoller
Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge
1800 M St., NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 331-4100

Counsel for Defendants-Intervenors Water Resources Congress, et al.
David R. Melincoff
O'Connor & Hannan
Suite 600, 1747 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 787-8700

Counsel for Amicus Curiae State of Minnesota
James B. Early, Special Ass't Attorney General
102 State Capitol, St. Paul MN 55155
(612) 296-6196