Webster v. USDA, No. 11-1739 (4th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Over thirty-five years ago, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), working with local sponsors, devised a project to provide watershed protection, flood prevention, and recreation along the Lost River Subwatershed. In 1974, the NRCS issued an environmental impact statement relating to the project, and since that time, three dams and most of the land treatment measures have been completed. After preparing a supplemental environmental impact statement in 2009, the NRCS issued a record of decision that eliminated one of the remaining dams from the project and authorized construction of the final dam for the added purpose of providing water supply. Appellants, seven individuals who alleged that their land will be adversely affected by this final dam's construction, filed this action contending that the NRCS failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). They appealed the district court's order granting Appellees' motion for summary judgment. Because the Fourth Circuit determined that the NRCS complied with the procedures mandated by the NEPA and took a hard look at the project's environmental effects, the Court affirmed.