On June 26, Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail and co-plaintiffs respectfully asked Federal Judge Leon for clarification or reconsideration of two issues – noise and air pollution – – that he did not address in detail or at all, in his order of May 30, 2017 and subsequent opinion memorandum of June 9, 2017.  That order and memorandum addressed our environmental claims under the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act but not all aspects of those claims were addressed directly.

Regarding noise pollution, MTA and FTA failed to follow FTA’s own guidance – and common sense – on this issue.  Rather than assess and disclose, as the guidance explains, the actual levels and impacts of the harmful intermittent, peak noise caused by the trains and any bells and horns on people using the adjacent trail, on parks, children in adjacent schools, and people residing and working along the line, the MTA and FTA calculated  “average” noise levels and argued that reliance on 24-hour average noise levels was sufficient as agencies “are afforded substantial deference in their choice of methodology.”

Regarding air pollution, our filing notes that the Court did not discuss this issue and points out that the impact assessment in the Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statements was deficient.  MTA and FTA omitted entirely any discussion of the air pollution from the power plants whose electricity would run the Purple Line, while counting the benefits of the air pollution from the cars that would be displaced by the Purple Line–thus using a double standard that favors the Purple Line and completely ignored the detailed CEQ and DOT regulations on how to implement the National Environmental Policy Act on this issue.

These analyses and responses do not constitute the minimally sufficient “hard look” required under the circumstances, and, in our filing, we therefore seek clarification from the Court on these issues.

It is understood in this filing process that we preserve our right to ask the Circuit Court to review these and other issues if and when we file an appeal of aspects of his decision that were unclear or unfavorable.

To read our June 26 filing see below:

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