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First Amendment Library:
Nancy Stearns


The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that § 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 83 Stat. 853, 42 U. S. C. § 4332(2)(C), requires the Navy to prepare and release to the public a "Hypothetical Environmental Impact Statement" with regard to the operation *141 of a facility capable of storing nuclear weapons. Catholic Action of Hawaii/Peace Education Project v. Brown, 643 F. 2d 569, 572 (1980). Because we conclude that the "Hypothetical Environmental Impact Statement" is a creature of judicial cloth, not legislative cloth, and that it is not mandated by any of the statutory or regulatory provisions upon which the Court of Appeals relied, we reverse its decision.