Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay v. Federal Transit Administration

463 F.3d 50 (2006)

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Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay v. Federal Transit Administration

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
463 F.3d 50 (2006)

Facts

The Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NABB) (plaintiff) sued the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) (defendants) for injunctive relief on the grounds that an FTA-funded project to install elevators at the Copley Square transit station violated Sections 106 and 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The elevator project endeavored to bring the station into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but the project involved construction on or near two historically designated properties adjacent to the station: a library and a church. Prior to initiation of the project, MBTA retained a preservation consultant to prepare a report analyzing compliance with federal historical preservation statutes. The report discussed Section 106 requirements and concluded that the elevator plan would have no adverse effect on the historic buildings. MBTA submitted the report to the FTA and requested a finding of no adverse effect. The FTA made a No Adverse Effect finding and obtained a concurrence from the Massachusetts Historic Commission (MHC). NABB filed its lawsuit and moved for injunctive relief, arguing that the finding of no adverse effect was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The district court denied NABB’s motion, and NABB appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Dyk, J.)

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