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D.C. Fed'n of Civic Ass'ns v. Adams

ELR Citation: 8 ELR 20298
Nos. No. 77-2060, 571 F.2d 1310/11 ERC 1461/(4th Cir., 03/14/1978)

The Fourth Circuit affirms the district court's denial of injunctive relief in an action seeking to restrain further construction on a segment of an interstate highway for failure to comply with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. Plaintiffs' claims that the project environmental impact statement gave inadequate consideration to alternatives to the proposed highway are not well taken. Where the alternatives in question will not achieve the project objectives or where they turn on contingencies that appear extremely remote, the agency may justifiably direct less attention to them in the impact statement. The court also rejects the claim that the project should be stopped for noncompliance with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The record shows that the NHPA's requirements were met, and while the Secretary may not have complied with the Council's regulations, such violations, if they occurred, do not justify the issuance of injunctive relief under the circumstances. Finally, the court rejects a challenge to the bases of the Secretary's decision to proceed, finding that he acted within his statutory authority.

Counsel for Appellants
Gary D. Wilson
Wilmer, Cutter & Pickering
1666 K St., Washington DC 20006
(202) 872-6000

Counsel for Appellees
Walter A. McFarlane, Deputy Attorney General; John J. Beall, Jr.
140 E. Broad St., Richmond VA 23219
(804) 786-2911

Robert F. Flinn, Ass't County Attorney
4100 Chain Bridge Rd., Fairfax VA 22030
(703) 691-2421

Carl Strass, Raymond N. Zagone, Irwin L. Schroeder, Geoffrey A. Mueller; Sanford Sagalkin, Deputy Ass't Attorney General
Land & Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 739-2720

Haynsworth, J., joined by Butzner & Field, JJ.