Lawsuit alleges Army Corps of Engineers OK'd permit without properly assessing pollution impacts
(July 30, 2002) -- A federal court judge has declined to issue a preliminary injunction halting construction of a massive 134-174 acre container terminal at the Port of L.A. while the underlying environmental lawsuit suit over pollution issues proceeds.
Meanwhile, LBReport.com has learned the Natural Resources Defense Council, a plaintiff in the suit, plans to appeal denial of the injunction to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals while the underlying environmental lawsuit continues.
"The trial court's ruling on the requested injunction does not mean we won't ultimately win the case on the merits and we plan to aggressively pursue it," said NRDC Senior Project Attorney Julie Masters.
A 57 page opinion by Federal District Court Judge Margaret Morrow allows construction to proceed while the case progresses.
As previously reported by LBReport.com, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), two other environmental groups and two San Pedro area homeowners groups (details below) filed suit last month alleging the Army Corps of Engineers improperly allowed the Port of L.A. to proceed with a massive container terminal project without properly considering the full pollution impacts, including diesel emissions.
NRDC's suit is brought under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) which requires government bodies to publicly assess a project's environmental impacts before permitting the project. It alleges the Corps of Engineers and City of L.A. violated NEPA by permitting the Port of L.A. to construct a new container wharf that will be part of a new massive shipping terminal without properly considering the harmful impacts of the project in an environmental impact statement (EIS).
Plaintiffs in the suit are the Natural Resources Defense Council, San Pedro and Peninsula Homeowners' Coalition, San Pedro Peninsula Homeowners United, Inc., Coalition for Clean Air, Incl. and Communities for a Better Environment.
Defendants include the Army Corps of Engineers, the City and Port of Los Angeles.