ENVIRONMENTAL LITIGATION: LESSONS FROM THE COURTS

HIGHLIGHTS ARE GIVEN OF THREE RECENT COURT DECISIONS AGAINST CIVIL PROJECTS: GILLHAM DAM, CALVERT CLIFFS NUCLEAR POWER PLANT, AND A FREEWAY PLANNED TO RUN THROUGH A PUBLIC PARK IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS. SOME LEGAL AND PLANNING IMPLICATIONS OF THESE AND OTHER CASES ARE SPELLED OUT. SINCE THE SIGNING INTO LAW OF THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT (NEPA) TWO YEARS AGO, LEGAL COMPLAINTS HAVE BEEN FILED AGAINST PRACTICALLY ALL TYPES OF CIVIL ENGINEERING PROJECTS. COURT ACTION HAS STOPPED CONSTRUCTION OF SEVERAL PROJECTS, INCLUDING A SIX-TO-EIGHT-LANE EXPRESSWAY IN SAN ANTONIO. THE COURT RULED THAT ONCE FEDERAL FUNDS WERE AUTHORIZED FOR THE PROJECT, IT BECAME A FEDERAL PROJECT REQUIRING COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL LAW. IN THE PAST, CITIZENS HAVE NOT AUTOMATICALLY HAD THE LEGAL RIGHT TO SEEK JUDICIAL REVIEW OF FEDERAL AGENCY ACTIONS. LITIGATION UNDER NEPA AND SIMILAR STATUTES HAS BROADENED BOTH THE CITIZEN'S RIGHT AND SCOPE OF COURT REVIEW. /AUTHOR/

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Vol 42, No 1, PP 55-58
  • Authors:
    • Johnson, W K
  • Publication Date: 1972-1

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00238904
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 27 1972 12:00AM