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1,000 Friends of Or. v. Kreps

ELR Citation: 8 ELR 20080
Nos. No. 77-746, 11 ERC 1098/(D. Or., 11/23/1977)

The court denies plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction against disbursement of federal funds under the Local Public Works Act for the construction of storm sewers in a newly annexed area of Eugene, Oregon. Plaintiffs have not shown that they will probably prevail on the merits of their claim that the Economic Development Administration illegally failed to prepare an environmental impact statement in conjunction with its approval of the construction grant. The Local Public Works Act gives the agency only 60 days to act on a grant application or it is deemed to be approved, and this strict time limitation followed by automatic approval if no action is taken indicates that Congress did not intend the National Environmental Policy Act's impact statement requirement to be directly applicable to Local Public Works Act grants. Nor are plaintiffs likely to succeed on their claim that the agency violated its own regulations for environmental review of grant applications since its decision that the project will not have a significant adverse environmental impact was the product of extensive analysis and is supported by substantial evidence. The court also rules that plaintiffs have not shown the balance of hardships to be in their favor. Plaintiffs' real objection is to development of the area, but funding construction of the storm sewer does not necessarily mean the property will be developed since the ultimate use of the property will be determined through subsequent zoning decisions. Moreover, the city would suffer substantial hardship in the form of substantial delays and possible forfeiture of the funds intended for the project if the injunction were granted.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Bruce H. Anderson
Coons, Cole & Anderson
101 E. Broadway, Suite 303, Eugene OR 97401
(503) 485-0203

Counsel for Defendants
Sidney Lezak, U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 71, Portland OR 97207
(503) 221-2101

Lesley N. Swanson
Johnson, Harrang & Mercer
101 E. Broadway, Suite 400, Eugene OR 97401
(503) 485-0220