Chief District Judge Pamela Reeves today issued a ruling in OREPA’s legal challenge to the UPF bomb plant. While she stopped short of requiring the National Nuclear Security Administration to prepare a new Environmental Impact Statement, she did rule that the government was required to prepare some new environmental analysis.
And on the way to getting there, she stripped the government’s authority to continue construction of the UPF bomb plant, vacating its 2016 Amended Record of Decision which authorized the latest version of the bomb plant—several new buildings and two old buildings.
Reeves noted it was unlikely that a more significant NEPA lawsuit was likely to come through the Knoxville courthouse. She broke the plaintiffs’ case into four parts, and found for the government on two parts and for co-plaintiffs OREPA, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Jack Hoefer, Ed Sullivan, Linda Ewald and Ralph Hutchison on two others, including the crucial question of the adequacy of NEPA documentation for the bomb plant.
The court issued a 104 page opinion. You can read it by scrolling down the sidebar to the right until you come to UPF lawsuit documents and clicking on the link to the ruling.
The decision is the fruit of a long process and the investment of thousands of dollars by hundreds of supporters who believed in the case enough to support it financially.
“We could never have done this without the power of deeply committed people who came together determined to stop the bomb plant. This is an incredibly important step in that effort,” said Ralph Hutchison, OREPA coordinator.
It is not clear whether the government will appeal the decision.