of the bulk of DMAHC employees and their furniture and equipment is not scheduled until September 1978.
The issue in this case
is whether DMA's decision to move forward on consolidation without preparation of an EIS violates the procedural requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ("NEPA")
and relevant regulations issued by the Council on Environmental Quality ("CEQ Guidelines")
and regulations of the Department of Defense ("DOD Regulations").
The Court approaches this issue within the framework for review established by the Administrative Procedure Act. The Court's inquiry is limited to a determination of whether DMA's decision to forego an EIS was arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion. Hanly v. Kleindienst, 471 F.2d 823, 830 (2nd Cir. 1972); Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission v. U.S. Postal Service, 159 U.S.App.D.C. 158, 164, 487 F.2d 1029, 1035 (1973). The specific questions before the Court in judging the propriety of DMA's actions are whether the DMAHC-DMATC consolidation constitutes major Federal action which significantly affects the quality of the human environment around Brookmont and whether the environmental impact of the proposed consolidation is highly controversial.
The Court is persuaded that DMA's proposal to consolidate DMAHC and DMATC at the DMATC headquarters located at Brookmont, Maryland, is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment around Brookmont. At the outset, the Court has difficulty classifying the proposed consolidation as a major Federal action. The Court is aware of the very broad construction which courts have afforded the phrase "major Federal action." See Rucker v. Willis, 484 F.2d 158, 163 (4th Cir. 1973); S. W. Neighborhood Assembly v. Eckard, 445 F.Supp. 1195 (D.D.C.1978). However, this Court is not convinced that the transfer and consolidation of personnel and equipment at issue in this case, involving a limited number of people, minimal time to effect, and no new construction, is the sort of Federal action which Congress had in mind in enacting Section 102(2)(C) of NEPA. The consolidation herein appears comparable to the hiring of additional personnel at a Government facility operating at less than peak employment levels. Such an increase of personnel would not qualify as "major Federal action."
Furthermore, the Court is satisfied that DMA's conclusion that the proposed move would not entail a significant impact on the Brookmont environment is sustainable on the record in this matter. Consolidation at the DMATC site is in no way inconsistent with zoning and land use in the Brookmont area. The move does not involve the construction, enlargement or demolition of buildings or any other construction project, nor the construction or rerouting of any roadways, nor any substantial increase in traffic in the affected region, nor the acquisition of any new land. The Brookmont facilities will continue to be used as those facilities have been used since 1943 and employment levels at the site after the consolidation is completed will be lower than employment levels in previous years.
DMA considered the various environmental factors involved in the proposed move, including the effect on traffic in the Brookmont area, on sewage and solid waste control, and on noise and air pollution levels.
The Court is persuaded that DMA gave the environmental problem the requisite "hard look," identified the relevant areas of concern, and reasonably concluded that the environmental impact of the proposed consolidation would be insignificant.
DMA's examination of the environmental issues was substantial
and was conducted fully and in good faith. This Court will not substitute its judgment for that of the agency here.
Lastly, the Court finds that the environmental impact of the proposed consolidation does not amount to the sort of "highly controversial" impact which the CEQ Guidelines and the DOD Regulations indicate requires preparation of an EIS. The impact of the proposed move is local and the dispute over the environmental impact herein does not rise beyond the level of neighborhood opposition.
The Court concludes that DMA's deter- mination to forego preparation of an EIS in connection with the proposed consolida- tion of DMAHC and DMATC at DMATC's Brookmont headquarters was not arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion or otherwise unlawful. Therefore summary judgment must be entered for Defendants in this case.