Case 31

Philadelphia Council of Neighborhood Organizations v. Coleman, 437 F. Supp. 1341 (E.D. Pa. 1977).

Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief to prohibit the Department of Transportation (DOT) from funding a commuter rail tunnel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with a capital assistance grant. The grant contract had been signed in January 1977 after a series of applications and revisions. The project would affect the Reading Terminal and other historic buildings in Philadelphia. DOT had completed an environmental impact statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act in May 1975 that incorporated a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) entered into by the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) of DOT and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The MOA acknowledged that UMTA's plans to mitigate damage to the historic buildings were satisfactory.

The court upheld DOT's compliance with Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act, NHPA, and Executive Order No. 11593, finding that DOT adequately considered the effect of the tunnel on historic buildings and that the agency's actions were not arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion. 437 F. Supp. at 1361. The court also upheld the agency's EIS. Id. at 1366.

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