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Abstract

In this case note, Elizabeth Manning analyzes City of Rochester v. United States Postal Service, 541, F.2d 967 (2d Cir. 1976). The City of Rochester and the Genessee-Finger Lakes Regional Planning Board sued to enjoin the Postal Service from constructing a 12 million dollar postal facility in a Rochester suburb, in contemplation of abandoning an older smaller facility within the city itself. Plaintiffs asserted that the Postal Service's change of location was "a major Federal actio[n] significantly affecting the quality of the human environment," and that the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) required the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before the Service could abandon its inner city facility. While conceding that the transfer was "a major Federal action," defendants countered that the transfer did not "significantly affec[t] the quality of the human environment." The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found that the Postal Service's action would have environmental consequences. It criticized the Service's Environmental Impact Assessment for considering only the effects of the new construction on the suburb of Henrietta, while ignoring the consequences of abandonment on the city of Rochester.

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