La lecture en ligne est gratuite
Le téléchargement nécessite un accès à la bibliothèque YouScribe
Tout savoir sur nos offres
Télécharger Lire

Corridor Graham Co K DSEIS Comment

De
11 pages
October 14, 2008 Gregory J. Thorpe, Ph. D. Project Development and Environmental Analysis Branch NC Department of Transportation 1548 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-3141 Re: Draft Supplemental EIS, US 74 Relocation, Graham County TIP Project A-9 B& C Dear Mr. Thorpe, These comments are submitted on behalf of Ways South, the Western North Carolina Alliance, The Wilderness Society, the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition (SAFC), WildSouth, and the Southern Environmental Law Center. SAFC also is submitting independent comments. The stated “needs” for this project (inhibited economic development of Graham County, geographic isolation , and safety) and the project’s purposes (improve system linkage, improve economic and social development, improve highway capacity and development) do not support the single-minded focus of the DOT and this Draft Supplemental EIS on building a four-lane highway in Graham County, especially when the DOT’s own data show that there is no genuine transportation need for such a massive highway and when that highway will cost approximately $400 million (roughly $47,000 for each of Graham County’s approximately 8500 current residents) and fragment and otherwise impact one of North Carolina’s most pristine regions, including cutting a swath through a large area of the Nantahala National Forest. To the contrary, it is apparent that these needs and purposes could ...
Voir plus Voir moins









October 14, 2008

Gregory J. Thorpe, Ph. D.
Project Development and
Environmental Analysis Branch
NC Department of Transportation
1548 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-3141

Re: Draft Supplemental EIS, US 74 Relocation, Graham County
TIP Project A-9 B& C

Dear Mr. Thorpe,

These comments are submitted on behalf of Ways South, the Western North
Carolina Alliance, The Wilderness Society, the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition
(SAFC), WildSouth, and the Southern Environmental Law Center. SAFC also is
submitting independent comments.

The stated “needs” for this project (inhibited economic development of Graham
County, geographic isolation , and safety) and the project’s purposes (improve system
linkage, improve economic and social development, improve highway capacity and
development) do not support the single-minded focus of the DOT and this Draft
Supplemental EIS on building a four-lane highway in Graham County, especially when
the DOT’s own data show that there is no genuine transportation need for such a massive
highway and when that highway will cost approximately $400 million (roughly $47,000
for each of Graham County’s approximately 8500 current residents) and fragment and
otherwise impact one of North Carolina’s most pristine regions, including cutting a swath
through a large area of the Nantahala National Forest. To the contrary, it is apparent that
these needs and purposes could be equally well-served, at far less monetary and
environmental cost, by a package of well-designed upgrades and improvements to the
existing primary roads in Graham County ( US 129 and NC 143), combined with other
steps truly targeted to promoting economic and social development in that County.
Graham County and western North Carolina deserve a thoughtful, multifaceted approach
to improving transportation and promoting economic growth that reflects the best
thinking of today rather than the blunt instrument of a unnecessary and wasteful four-lane
highway conceived fifty years ago.
This Draft Supplemental EIS failed to take a “hard look” at this project as
required by the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). National Audubon
Society v. Dep’t of the Navy, 422 F.3d 174, 184 (4th Cir. 2005); Hughes River
Watershed Conservancy v. Glickman, 81 F.3d 437, 443 (4th Cir. 1996). The Draft
Supplemental EIS violated the requirement to consider all reasonable alternatives, 40
C.F.R. § 1500.2, because it did not give thorough consideration to the reasonable
alternative of improvements to the existing roads in Graham County combined with other
economic development measures. The Draft Supplemental EIS also violated NEPA by
illegally and arbitrarily segmenting the analysis of segments B and C of this project from
segment A. Further, the Draft Supplemental EIS provided inadequate analyses of
multiple environmental impacts, including geology and acidic rock, streams and water
quality, fragmentation effects, effects on roadless areas, induced growth and
development, and cumulative impacts.

I. THE DRAFT SUPPLEMENTAL EIS FAILED TO CONSIDER ALL
REASONABLE ALTERNATIVES AS REQUIRED BY NEPA.

NEPA requires federal agencies to "study, develop, and describe appropriate
alternatives to recommended courses of action in any proposal which involves unresolved
conflicts concerning alternative uses of available resources." 42 U.S.C. § 4332(2)(E).
Consistent with this statutory directive, the NEPA regulations require that

Federal agencies shall, to the fullest extent possible: [u]se the NEPA process to
identify and assess the reasonable alternatives to proposed actions that will avoid
or minimize adverse effects of these actions upon the quality of the human
environment.

40 C.F.R. § 1500.2(e) (emphasis added).

Thus, a primary goal of NEPA is to ensure that

federal agencies infuse in project planning a thorough consideration of
environmental values. The consideration of alternatives requirement furthers that
goal by guaranteeing that agency decisionmakers have before them and take into
proper account all possible approaches to a particular project (including total
abandonment of the project) which would alter the environmental impact and the
cost-benefit balance.

Alaska Wilderness Recreation Tourism Association v. Morrison, 67 F.3d 723, 729 (9th
Cir. 1995). Accordingly, adequate consideration of alternatives is the "heart" of the
NEPA process because it defines the issues and provides a clear basis for choices among
options by the decisionmaker and the public. 40 C.F.R. § 1502.14.

Applying these principles requires that "[a]n agency must look at every
reasonable alternative, with the range dictated by the nature and scope of the proposed
action, and sufficient to permit a reasoned choice." Idaho Conservation League v.
2Mumma, 956 F.2d 1508, 1520 (9th Cir. 1992); see also Methow Valley Citizens Council
v. Regional Forester, 833 F.2d 810, 816 (9th Cir. 1988), rev'd on other grounds, 490 U.S.
332 (1989) (reasonable range of alternatives framed by purposes of the project). "The
existence of a viable but unexamined alternative renders an environmental impact
statement inadequate." Resources Ltd. v. Robertson, 35 F.3d 1300, 1307 (9th Cir. 1994).

Contrary to the statute, the regulations, and the case law outlined above, this Draft
Supplemental EIS failed to consider the reasonable alternative of upgrades and
improvements to the existing US 129 and NC 143, especially if these highway
improvements were combined with other measures directly targeted to economic
development in Graham County, such as improvements in communications and
education. Such an alternative would meet all of the project’s purposes and needs
(economic development, reduce county isolation, improve transportation network and
safety) at far less monetary and environmental cost and, potentially, at far greater efficacy
in improving the lives of Graham County residents.

The data presented in the Draft Supplemental EIS show that there is no real
transportation need to this massive proposed four-lane divided highway. Table 2.8.1 on
page 2-40 shows that, even if no improvements are made to the existing roads, in 2030
these roads still will provide Levels of Service (LOS) of C, D, and A respectively. These
Levels of Service are well within the acceptable range and do not come close to justifying
the proposed expenditure of at least $400 million on a four-lane highway that would far
exceed any reasonable foreseeable transportation needs. Moreover, the DOT’s analysis
understated the actual Level of Service these existing roads will provide by unjustifiably
applying high traffic numbers from one section and by other questionable analyses.
Comments of Walter Kulash, P.E., attached. However, to the extent improvement is
desired, particularly in safety and in the NC 143 segment, better safety and better LOS
easily could be achieved through targeted upgrades to the existing highways, such as
passing lanes where warranted, additional lanes and other measures at intersections,
better engineering of curves, and better shoulders. Id. We do not know what these
improvements might cost, because the DOT has not considered them, but we can be sure
that they would cost far less than the minimum $400 million price tag of the preferred
alternative. Id. We can be equally sure that they would require far less excavation and
carry much reduced impacts to water quality, habitat fragmentation, and other
environmental resources, and would be far more compatible with the County’s stated
desire to promote ecotourism for economic development. DSEIS at 3-18.

In light of the singular emphasis on economic development in the stated purpose
and need for this project, these improvements to the existing road network could be
combined with a package of economic development measures developed by experts in
that field rather than by road engineers. The DOT has no expertise in economic and
social development, yet the agency has committed itself to those goals by hinging its
“need” for this project on the inhibited economic development of Graham County and by
making economic and social development a primary purpose of this project. DSEIS at 1-
9, 1-10. Accordingly, it is incumbent on the DOT to consult with true experts in
development and to consider alternative approaches to fostering improved economic and
3social conditions in Graham County along with targeted upgrades to the existing
highways that would resolve any concerns about safety and Level of Service at far less
cost and environmental damage.

The reasonableness of an alternative based on improving the existing highways is
further illustrated by the fact that the 1984 EIS that this Draft is intended to supplement
considered such an alternative and eventually rejected it for reasons that no longer hold
true. For example, the 1984 EIS asserted that a four-lane highway was needed to provide
adequate capacity and level of service. 1984 EIS at 127. As highlighted above, the data
in this Draft Supplement contradict that assertion. Further, the 1984 EIS asserted that a
four-lane highway was needed to divert traffic from US 19 through the Nantahala Gorge.
Id. As with the other analyses and conclusions of the 1984 EIS, at a minimum, NEPA
requires a reexamination of this assertion under the present conditions and circumstances,
and a reevaluation of the benefits and costs of an “improvements” alternative versus the
four-lane alternatives. Lastly, the purpose and need of this particular project is distinct
from the purpose and need of the 1984 EIS, and, as demonstrated above, an
“improvements” alternative easily can meet the current purpose and need. For all of
these reasons, this Draft Supplement should have reanalyzed and reexamined the
highway improvements alternative that was included in the 1984 EIS.

This Draft Supplement EIS was inadequate because it failed to consider the viable
and reasonable alternative of improvements and upgrades to the existing highways,
especially if these improvements were combined with target economic and social
development measures rather than the blunt and dubious approach of throwing hundred
of millions of dollars into an unnecessary interstate that may or may not contribute
significantly to economic and social progress in Graham County, but that surely would
degrade the region’s pristine environment and drain the public coffers for other possible
approaches.

II. THE DRAFT SUPPLEMENTAL EIS ILLEGALLY SEGMENTED THE B
AND C PARTS OF THE A-9 PROJECT.

The 1984 EIS considered all four parts of the A-9 project together. NEPA
requires that this EIS address the remainder of the A-9 project together, as cumulative
actions.

40 C.F.R. § 1508.25 defines the scope of EISs and provides in pertinent part:
Scope consists of the range of actions, alternatives and impacts to be
considered….To determine the scope of environmental impact statements,
agencies shall consider 3 types of actions….They include:
(a)(2) Cumulative actions, which when viewed with other proposed actions have
cumulatively significant impacts and should therefore be discussed in the same
impact statement.

(emphasis added).
4The remaining three sections of the A-9 project are intended to link to each other
and provide approximately 20 miles of continuous roadway through a pristine region and
will cause cumulatively significant impacts including huge excavations, water pollution,
forest loss and fragmentation, visual impacts, and growth impacts. “When several
foreseeable similar projects in a geographic region have a cumulative impact, they should
be evaluated in a single EIS.” Resources, Ltd. v. Robertson, 35 F.3d 1300, 1306 (9th Cir.
1993), quoted in North Carolina Alliance for Transportation Reform v. U.S. Dept. of
Transportaton, 151 F. Supp. 2d 661, 685 (M.D.N.C. 2001). Like the two sections of the
Winston-Salem beltline at issue in North Carolina Alliance, the three remaining sections
of the A-9 Project in Graham and Cherokee “constitute cumulative actions, and therefore
should [be] considered in the same environmental impact statement.” 151 F.Supp. 2d at
684.

The FHWA regulations concerning segmentation cannot override 40 C.F.R. §
1508.25, but set forth an additional three-part test which this Draft Supplemental EIS
failed as well. The project must (1) connect logical termini and be of sufficient length to
address environmental matters on a broad scope; (2) have independent utility; and (3) not
restrict alternatives for other reasonably foreseeable transportation improvements. 23
C.F.R. § 771.111.

To begin with, the DOT’s own record for this project establishes that the
segmentation of sections B and C from section A had nothing to with independent utility
or logical termini, and everything to do funding issues:

Due to funding and scheduling considerations, reevaluation of the Preferred
Alternative will be conducted in two planning documents. The current
reevaluation document specifically addresses the B&C sections of the corridor….

Revised Summary, Purpose and Need Statement, at 1 (January 5, 2000) (emphasis
added). This document went on to note that the purpose and need was based on the entire
corridor from Andrews to Stecoah and that:

The A, B, and C section of this project involve constructing a four-lane divided
highway from the Andrews Bypass in Cherokee County to NC 28 at Stecoah in
Graham County. However, Section A is not funded.

Id. At 2 (emphasis added).

Lack of funding for Section A does not justify segmentation of these sections
under NEPA. The DOT’s own record establishes that this segmentation has occurred
because of funding considerations, and that the arguments found in the Draft
Supplemental EIS concerning independent utility and logical termini are merely post-hoc
rationalizations for this funding-driven violation of the law.

Moreover, the B & C sections of this project do not have independent utility and
logical termini because they end at US 129 and, absent section A or other improvements
5to US 129, will merely create a new bottleneck at this point. See Swain v. Brinegar, 517
F.2d 766, 776 n. 12 (7th Cir. 1975) (the mere existence of a boundary line separating
arbitrary state highway department districts does not in itself establish a logical
terminus."). Proceeding with these sections only also restricts alternatives, specifically,
the no-action alternative and geographic and other alternatives for section A, because if
Sections B and C are built as proposed, it is inevitable that section A also will be built to
four lanes and will join with the proposed terminus of section B. See Draft Supplemental
EIS at S-3 (using completion of section D to dismiss a potential alternative).

Thus, if sections B and C are built, these sections plus the prior four-lane highway
to Andrews will “stand like gun barrels” pointed at the proposed section A between
Andrews and US 129, and these “gun barrels” will ensure that segment A also will be
built to four lanes. See Maryland Conservation Council v. Gilchrist, 808 F.2d 1039, 1042
(4th Cir. 1986) (construction of such “gun barrel” segments inevitably would influence
decision on middle segment which contained a state park); see also San Antonio
Conservation Society Members v. Texas Highway Department, 446 F.2d 1013, 1023 (5th
Cir. 1971) (“Patently, the construction of these two ‘end segments’ … will severely limit
the number of ‘feasible and prudent’ alternatives to avoiding the Park.”). And here, as in
the Gilchrist and San Antonio cases, this "gun barrel" restriction of alternatives is
particularly problematic because construction of section A will be exceedingly expensive
and will raise very significant issues with tunneling, excavation, acid and other water
runoff, and other significant impacts. Comments of Melanie Mayes, Ph.D. at 5-6
(attached) 808 F.2d at 1042; 446 F.2d at 1023.

The Draft Supplemental EIS violated both NEPA and the FHWA regulations
because it failed to consider the cumulative actions of sections A, B, and C in a single
EIS, because these sections were segmented due to funding considerations rather than the
FHWA criteria, and because proceeding with sections B and C only does not have logical
termini and restricts consideration of alternatives for section A.

III. THE DRAFT SUPPLEMENTAL EIS PROVIDED INADEQUATE
ANALYSIS OF MANY ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS.

An agency fails to take the “hard look” required by NEPA when it fails to
consider an important aspect of the problem, offers an explanation for its decisions that
contradicts the evidence before the agency, or makes a clear error of judgment. Citizens
to Preserve Overton Park, Inc. v. Volpe, 401 U.S. 402, 416 (1971); Motor Vehicle Mfrs.
Ass'n v. State Farm Mutual, 463 U.S. 29, 43 (1983); National Audubon Society, 422 F.3d
at 184; City of Alexandria v. Federal Highway Administration, 756 F. 2d 1104. 1017 (4th
Cir. 1985). This Draft Supplement EIS violated NEPA by failing to take a hard look at
many of the significant environmental impacts that this massive proposed highway will
cause to this relatively pristine region.



6A. The Analysis Of Geology And Potential Impacts Such As Exposure Of Acid-
Bearing Rock And Slides/Slope Stability Was Terribly Inadequate And Failed To
Consider Many Significant Aspects Of These Issues.

The various geologic sections of the Draft Supplemental EIS failed to provide
much of the information necessary to evaluate the geologic conditions this proposed
highway will encounter and to assess and plan for likely impacts. Comments of Melanie
Mayes, Ph.D. (attached); Comments of Steven Yurkovich, Ph.D. (attached). Most
significantly, the Draft Supplemental EIS totally failed to consider the very significant
issues of exposure of acidic rock and the resulting acidic drainage and other pollution,
and the likelihood of future slides resulting from deep cuts in unstable geology. Id.

The failure to address the likely exposure of acidic rock, the resulting pollution,
and the cost and efficacy of a mitigation plan is particularly striking. As Drs. Mayes and
Yurkovich discuss in some detail, the geologic formations that the highway likely will cut
through contain significant potential for acid-bearing rock, and the impacts from
exposure of this rock can be exceeding damaging. Id. The Draft Supplemental EIS
violated NEPA because it essentially ignored this very important issue.

The significance and depth of the NEPA violation in the avoidance of this issue is
illustrated by comparison to other recent EISs that have considered building roads in this
region. For example, the EIS for the proposed North Shore Road addressed the potential
for exposure of acidic rock in great detail and provided an extensive mitigation strategy.
As Dr. Mayes noted, “[t]he area in question here is just as sensitive as that of the North
Shore Road in terms of its geology and environment.” Comments of Melanie Mayes,
Ph.D., at 5. Similarly, the Draft EIS for another section of Corridor K (Route 64 in
Tennessee) included a lengthy analysis of the impacts of exposure of acidic-producing
materials and an extensive plan for handling acid-producing rock (Appendix B). Further,
the FHWA’s own “Guidelines for Handling Excavated Acid-Producing Materials” sets
forth extensive procedures for the pre-design phase of a project for assessing the risks of
excavating acid-producing materials and for developing plans should these materials be
encountered. This Draft Supplemental EIS fell far short of these standards and utterly
failed to provide the information needed to assess these very significant risks or for
outside experts, such as Drs. Mayes and Yurkovich, to review the agency’s analysis.

Similarly, this Draft Supplemental EIS failed to take a hard look at the important
issue of slope stability and slides. Comments of Melanie Mayes, Ph.D., at 1-3. Dr.
Mayes’ comments outlined multiple considerations regarding geologic stability that the
Draft EIS ignored or addressed inadequately. In sum, “[b]ecause of the lack of relevant
geologic information in the DEIS, it is impossible to judge the short- or long-term
geotechnical stability of the proposed road and tunnel.” Id. at 2.

In light of the scale, terrain, and topography of the proposed project, geology and
geotechnical issues should have received a thorough and detailed analysis in this Draft
Supplemental EIS, particularly issues related to the potential exposure of acid-bearing
materials and the resulting pollution and to the geologic stability of the proposed
7construction. The gross inadequacies of the Draft Supplemental EIS in ignoring or
glossing over these very significant issues and impacts violated NEPA.

B. The Draft Supplemental EIS Provided An Inadequate Analysis Of Likely
Impacts To Streams And Water Quality.

The inadequacies of the geology analyses discussed above lead directly to similar
inadequacies in the analysis of the likely impacts of this project on the area’s streams and
water quality.

This Draft Supplemental EIS (“DSEIS”) provided a listing of the current water
quality designations of the area’s streams but failed to recognize or disclose that most of
these streams are of very high or pristine water quality that could suffer greatly from this
project. Although the DSEIS noted that recent data indicate that Stecoah Creek and its
tributaries are High Quality Waters, DSEIS at 3-69, the DSEIS did not discuss what this
reality and pending designation would mean or how it might be impacted by the project.
The entire discussion of impacts to water resources was less than a page in length and
was grossly inadequate.

As the comments of Drs. Mayes and Yurkovich make clear, there is a substantial
risk that this project will disturb or expose acid-producing materials that in turn will lead
to acidic and other pollution of this area’s clean waters and trout streams. The Draft
Supplemental EIS did not address this likelihood or possibility in any substantive
manner. Nor did the Draft address North Carolina’s water quality standards, especially
the antidegradation standard found in 15A NCA 2B.0201 and the specific provisions
regarding High Quality Waters in 15A NCA 2B. 0224, and how these standards will be
met in this project, especially for the High Quality Waters of Stecoah Creek.

The Aquatic Resources Analysis (“AQUA”)prepared by the U.S. Forest Service
found that “substantial impacts will occur to project area waters, particularly through
water quality and hydrological factors and channelization.” AQUA at 7. This
conclusion, or any similar analysis or conclusion, is absent from the Draft Supplemental
EIS.

The AQUA also noted that past road construction has “degraded and eliminated
habitat through sedimentation input, channelization, riparian destruction, and possible
acid bearing rock exposure,” and that a very recent example of this degradation was the
construction of section D of this project which impacted waters within the Fontana Lake
watershed and Fontana Lake itself. Id. Other well-known examples of road construction
in this region having exceedingly detrimental effects on streams and water quality include
construction of US 441 near Clingman’s Dome (exposure of acid-producing rock caused
low pH and metals contamination of Beech Flats Prong, a headwater of the Oconaluftee
River), and construction of the Tellico-Robbinsville Road near the western boundary of
the National Park (acid drainage from acid-producing rock used as roadfill in that project
depressed pH levels and increased acidity, sulfate and metal concentrations in McNabb
and Hemlock Creeks of the North River drainage and Grassy Branch of the Citico Creek
8drainage). None of these examples are mentioned or addressed in the Draft Supplemental
EIS, nor is the experience of constructing section D of this very project discussed at all.

As with the inadequate analysis of geology and resultant impacts, this Draft
Supplemental EIS violated NEPA because it failed to consider many important aspects of
the likely impacts of this project on the region’s streams and water quality.

C. The Draft Supplemental EIS Provided An Inadequate Analysis Of the
Impacts Of This Highway On This Region’s National Forests And
Wildlife, And On Critical Resources Such As Cheoah Bald And The
Appalachian Trail.

The Stecoah area is recognized as an ecological treasure. Its forests are home to
abundant populations of wildlife, including black bear, and its pristine streams support
trout and other aquatic species. The Appalachian Trial is nationally known and hiked by
millions of people annually. The Cheoah Bald roadless area is a rare and significant
resource that receives heavy recreational use.

The Draft EIS understates, minimizes, and inadequately analyzes the impacts of
this massive proposed highway on all of these resources. A four-lane divided interstate
will magnify greatly the fragmentation and wildlife impacts of the existing roads. The
highway and its structure will constitute a huge visual and noise intrusion into the
Appalachian Trial, the Cheoah Bald roadless area, and the numerous other breathtaking
scenic viewpoints that will be marred if the highway is constructed. Whatever
development the road spawns will magnify these impacts.

The Draft Supplemental EIS violated NEPA because it treated all of these impacts
as minor or failed to address them at all. To the contrary, it should have discussed these
impacts in much greater detail , weighed them against the lack of any real transportation
need for this highway, and addressed on them in considering further alternatives that
would reduce these impacts.

D. The Draft Supplemental EIS Did Not Adequately Disclose, Analyze or
Address Cumulative Impacts.

Further reflecting many of the deficiencies discussed above, the Draft
Supplemental EIS did not adequately disclose, analyze, or address the cumulative
impacts of this project together with other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable
projects, especially sections A and D of the overall A-9 project.

NEPA requires the DOT to consider and address cumulative impacts before
proceeding with this project. North Carolina Alliance, 151 F. Supp. 2d at 697; 40 C.F.R.
§ 1508.25(c). 40 C.F.R. § 1508.7 defines these impacts as:

the impact on the environment which results from the incremental impact of the
action when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future
9actions….Cumulative impacts can result from individually minor but collectively
significant actions taking place over a period of time.
The regulations further provide that, in determining “significance,” the defendants
must consider:
[w]hether the action is related to other actions with individually insignificant but
cumulatively significant impacts. Significance exists if it is reasonable to
anticipate a cumulatively significant impact on the environment. Significance
cannot be avoided by terming an action temporary or by breaking it down into
small component parts.
40 C.F.R. § 1508.27(b)(7).

An adequate cumulative impacts analysis under 40 C.F.R. § 1508.25(c) must
include quantified and detailed information that provides a useful analysis of past,
present, and future projects. Kern v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management, 284 F.3d 1062,
1075 (9th Cir. 2002); Neighbors of Cuddy Mountain v. U.S. Forest Service, 137 F.3d
1372, 1378 (9th Cir. 1998). This EIS fell well short of this standard in its failure to
adequately to disclose and analyze the cumulative effects of sections A, B, C, and D on
the region’s geology, exposure of acidic materials and likely pollution, slopes and slides,
impacts to water and aquatic resources, and overall impacts to forests, fragmentation, and
critical resources like Cheoah Bald. “Where several actions have a cumulative or
synergistic environmental effect, this consequence must be considered in an EIS.” City
of Tenakee Springs v. Clough, 915 F.2d 1308, 1312 (9th Cir. 1990). Here, it is plain that
these multiple sections of Project A-9 will have synergistic effects on the remarkable
resources of this pristine region, yet the EIS either ignored these impacts or treated them
in a summary fashion. The EIS also failed to support adequately its questionable
conclusions regarding the large increases in population and growth that it set forth as
resulting from construction of this highway.

E. The Draft Supplemental EIS Failed To Address Current And Future Issue
Relating To Energy Costs And Availability And Climate Change.

In a time of high gas prices, energy shortages, and increasing consensus regarding
the causes and impacts of climate change, it is indefensible for this EIS, or any
environmental analysis of any transportation project, to fail to address these issues, yet
none of these matters are even mentioned in this EIS, much less analyzed or addressed
adequately. Rather than analyzing these issues and addressing their effects on the need
for and impacts of this project, this EIS ignored them entirely and projected future traffic
and other effects as if past trends will continue and nothing will change between now and
2030, an assumption that is not credible on its face. The failure to address these issues
was yet another violation of NEPA.





10

Un pour Un
Permettre à tous d'accéder à la lecture
Pour chaque accès à la bibliothèque, YouScribe donne un accès à une personne dans le besoin