HIGHLIGHTS of District Court Judge Bruce Jenkins DECISION on the Legacy Parkway
August 11, 2001
"The test for NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] compliance is not the test of perfection. The EIS is by no means perfect, although years in the making with a heavy cost in dollars. The question is adequacy."
"Some plaintiffs seek a broader vision from the decision makers and, indeed, a broader overlook of the whole geographic area may have been wise. Without vision, the people perish.
"Nevertheless, review under the APA [Administrative Procedure Act] does not concern itself with what is wise, or with the need for vision. It tests agency action for reasonableness. The alternatives chosen for consideration as to the defined project have a rational footing, and thus were not arbitrary nor capricious, even though other alternatives could have reasonably been considered, and the agencies could have produced a better product."
"We live in a dynamic world. Change is endemic. Some of the information used in the decision-making process has aged signigicantly even though reasonably accurate at the time of the information-gathering process which resulted in the final EIS. The proposal process has extended over the last five years. Some of the information currently is just plain wrong given the change of circumstances brought about by the passage of time-such as the figures on mass transit. Other information doesn't add up, such as the EIS estimates on carbon monoxide. As to the carbon monoxide estimates, the mathematics by definition needs to consistent."
"While it does not affect the outcome of the limited review of the Records of Decision by this Court, it would be not only refreshing but appropriate for those who gathered information resulting in the EIS voluntarily to revisit and update the information and analysis concerning (1) project cost, (2) transit projections, and (3) carbon monoxide estimates so that public officials and the public at large remain accurately informed as to current cost estimates, current transit estimates and current estimates for carbon monoxide using date, projections, and analyses which are internally and mathematically consistent."
"Based upon the review of the Corps' Record of Decision, its analysis of 404(b) factors and the pertinent portions of the administrative record, the Court concludes that the Army Corps of Engineers did not act arbitrarily or capriciously, did not abuse its discretion, and did not act contrary to law in issuing the Record of Decision approving the 404(b) permit for the Legacy Parkway project."