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Environmental Assessment of Rose Quarter Improvement Project Discussion

You are asked to
advise 3 nonprofit organizations that oppose the Portland, Oregon, Interstate 5
(I-5) Rose Quarter Improvement Project: No More Freeways, Neighbors for Clean
Air, and the Eliot Neighborhood Association.

In conjunction
with the Oregon Department of Transportation (“ODOT”), the United States
Department of Transportation (“DOT”) and the United States Federal Highway
Administration (“FHWA”) completed an Environmental Assessment (“EA”) and issued
a Finding of No Significant Impact (“FONSI”) decision for the I-5 Rose Quarter
Improvement Project.

To approve the
funding for the project, Section 4(f) of the Transportation Act requires that a
transportation project is permitted only if there is no prudent and feasible
alternative to using a public park, recreation area, or historic site of
national, State, or local significance. The project must include all possible
planning to minimize harm to the park, recreation area, or historic site if no
prudent and feasible alternatives exist.

When completing
the Environmental Assessment, the agencies only considered two alternatives:
build and no-build. The project will add highway lanes and widen shoulders to
increase vehicle capacity and improve smooth traffic flow where three
interstates meet at the top traffic bottleneck in Oregon. It will create
highway covers on top of I-5 and new crossings over I-5, and one new pedestrian
and bicycle bridge along with upgrades to other local streets. The agencies’
analysis of air quality, transportation impacts, noise impacts, climate
emissions, and so forth are based on transportation modeling, much of which has
been kept from the public’s scrutiny.

The project is in
the Albina neighborhood, a historically Black neighborhood of Portland that was
divided when I-5 was originally built. Properties in the neighborhood are
proposed for the National Register of Historic Places for their significance to
PNW Black History. The project is near Harriet Tubman Middle School and its
outdoor play area, which will be closer to the highway if the project is
completed. The Lillis-Albina Park will be impacted, and the project calls for
building a “noise wall” in the park to protect it from highway impacts.

Questions

Identify three
(3) legal issues that plaintiffs could raise in a challenge to the agency
decisions on the Rose Quarter Improvement Project.

For each legal
issue that you identify, articulate rule that you would apply to the issue,
then the reasoning for why this legal issue is relevant to the facts of this
situation.

For example
(do not use this example! You don’t have these facts in the scenario):

Issue: Do the
plaintiff organizations have standing to sue DOT, FHWA, and ODOT?

Rule: [State the
legal rule for establishing standing to sue]

Reasoning: This
issue is relevant because without standing, any case will be dismissed and
further claims could not be considered by a court. Because they alleged [fact
1, fact 2] but not [fact 3…], the defendant agencies can challenge the
organizations’ standing to sue and the court could dismiss the case….etc

the attachment has the same text clearly written. Please check (Would like if you can send within 9-10 hours)

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