Environmental Law; EIS
In evaluating a highway’s environmental impact, the plan was properly considered in its entirety rather than each segment.
“It’s true that the Corps hasn’t done and won’t be doing a public interest analysis of the entire project—all six sections. But there does not appear to be a dispute over whether the project as a whole is contrary to the public interest—and it might be an impertinence for the Corps of Engineers to decide that a sister federal agency, the Federal Highway Administration, was proposing a project that was not in the public interest. Anyway the highway agencies’ Environmental Impact Statements had covered most, maybe all, of the ground that a public interest analysis would have covered. The plaintiffs argue neither that the project as a whole is contrary to the public interest nor that it was sectioned in order to prevent consideration of its total environmental harms (improper ‘segmentation,’ discussed earlier). They may be playing a delay game: make the Corps do a public interest analysis from the ground up (along with an all-at-once six-section permit analysis) in the hope that at least until the analysis is completed there will be no further construction, so that until then the highway will end at the northernmost tip of section 3—making it a road to nowhere.”
12-3187 Hoosier Environmental Council v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, McKinney, J., Posner, J.