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San Diego, County of v. Andrus

ELR Citation: 7 ELR 20754
Nos. No. 77-0236-N, 10 ERC 1681/(S.D. Cal., 08/17/1977)

Dismissing plaintiffs' complaint, the court holds that the Interior Department need not prepare a National Environmental Policy Act environmental impact statement (EIS) prior to the formulation of a proposal for an outer continental shelf oil and gas lease sale off the coast of southern California. Defendants are considering the possibility of holding a lease sale, and an EIS will be prepared and considered by the Secretary of the Interior before the final decision on whether to hold the sale is made. At this stage, preliminary data are being gathered to focus information collection and consideration of alternatives. The court holds that it is premature to require an EIS before a proposal is sufficiently definite to permit a meaningful evaluation of the environmental impacts. An EIS is not required in advance of the preliminary actions that have heretofore been taken, and plaintiffs have had and will continue to have opportunities to express their views through administrative channels before a final decision is made on the proposed lease sale.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
John McEvoy, Deputy County Counsel
355 County Administration Center, San Diego CA 92101
(714) 236-3990

Counsel for Defendants
Michael E. Quinton, Ass't U.S. Attorney (with Terry J. Knoepp, U.S. Attorney)
U.S. Courthouse, 940 Front St., San Diego CA 92189
(714) 293-5662
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 739-2775
Gary Bohlke, Jack Hughes
Office of the Solicitor
Department of the Interior, Washington DC 20240
(202) 343-6848