Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail v. FTA, No. 17-5132 (D.C. Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs challenged Maryland's proposed "Purple Line" light rail project under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 49 U.S.C. 5309. The DC Circuit reversed the district court's order directing the preparation of a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) and vacated the Record of Decision, holding that the circumstances warranted deference by the court to FTA's (and Maryland's) reasonable, fact-intensive, technical determination that preparation of a SEIS was not required. The court affirmed the district court's order rejecting three challenges to the final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) presented on appeal, holding that the NEPA process adopted by FTA and Maryland for the Purple Line — an enormously complex project involving coordination between multiple government and private actors — fulfilled NEPA's purposes.