7 ELR 20444 | Environmental Law Reporter | copyright © 1977 | All rights reserved

Upper West Fork River Watershed Association v. Corps of Engineers

No. 76-1710 (4th Cir. May 9, 1977*)

The court affirms the lower court decision, 6 ELR 20580, granting summary judgment against a suit to enjoin construction of a West Virginia lake project. The court adopts the lower court reasoning that the Corps of Engineers' environmental impact statement adequately complied with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act.

Counsel for Appellant
LaVerne Sweeney
207 W. Main St., Grafton WV 26354
(304) 265-0968

Counsel for Appellees
Peter R. Taft, Ass't Attorney General; Maryann Walsh, George R. Hyde
Department of Justice
Washington DC 20530
(202) 739-5053

James F. Companion, U.S. Attorney
Federal Bldg.
Wheeling WV 26003
(304) 232-4026

Counsel for Amici Curiae
Willis Shay
Steptoe & Johnson
Union Bank Bldg.
Clarksburg WV 26301
(304) 624-5601

Bryan, Russell & Widener, JJ.

[7 ELR 20444]

Per curiam:

Upper West Fork River Watershed Association, a West Virginia corporation formed to encourage and promote a watershed project on the River's tributaries, sought unsuccessfully to enjoin construction of the Stonewall Jackson Lake Project near Brownsville, West Virginia and it now appeals.

The suit was premised on three grounds: (1) inadequacy of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) filed by the Corps of Engineers pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq. (NEPA); (2) noncompliance of the project with the goals of NEPA; and (3) violation by the undertaking of appellant's rights under the Fifth and Ninth Amendments. Named as defendants were the United States Army, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Defense, the then Secretaries of Defense and of Army, and the Corps' District Engineer for the Pittsburgh District.

The District Court, by agreement deciding on cross-motions for summary judgment, declared the EIS adequate under NEPA standards and plaintiff's second and third grounds meritless. Summary judgment was passed for the defendants on May 3, [7 ELR 20445] 1976. The Association appeals. We affirm for reasons stated in the Memorandum Order of the District Judge. Upper West Fork River v. Corps of Engineers, Civil Action No. 74-140-E [6 ELR 20580] (N.D. W. Va. May 3, 1976).


* This opinion is designated "unpublished" by the Fourth Circuit. Rule 18d of the Rules of the Fourth Circuit states that citation of unpublished opinions is "disfavored," but

[i]f counsel believes, nevertheless, that an unpublished disposition has precedential value in relation to a material issue in a case and that there is no published opinion that would serve as well, such disposition may be cited if counsel serves a copy thereof on all other parties in the case and on the court. Such service may be accomplished by including a copy of the disposition in an appendix to the brief.

Rule 18d(iii).

7 ELR 20444 | Environmental Law Reporter | copyright © 1977 | All rights reserved