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Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska v. Ray
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
621 F.2d 269 (1980)
In 1975, Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) began planning the construction of a transmission line from Raun, Iowa, to Hoskins, Nebraska. The proposed line was to cross the Missouri River and run through the Winnebago Indian Reservation. In 1977, NPPD informed the Winnebago Tribe (the tribe) (plaintiff) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs of its intent. NPPD applied to the Army Corps of Engineers (the corps) (defendant) for a permit to cross the Missouri River. The corps had jurisdiction over areas in or affecting navigable waters. The corps prepared an environmental-impact assessment on the impact of the portion of the line that crossed the Missouri River. The assessment concluded that an environmental-impact statement (EIS) was not required because the project posed no significant environmental risks. The assessment, however, did not mention any possible adverse side effects on bald eagles, which were a protected species. In 1979, the tribe filed suit against the corps and alleged that they failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and sought to enjoin construction. The trial court ruled that the assessment was proper because the scope of the permit was limited to the area assessed and the federal government was not funding the project. The tribe appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Bright, J.)
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