Chap018Cases

The Legal and Regulatory Environment of Business

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Case 18 Case 18-1 (Chapter 18, p.) METROPOLITAN EDISON CO. v. PEOPLE AGAINST NUCLEAR ENERGY 103 S.Ct. 1556 (1983) FACTS: Residents (PANE) near the Three Mile Island nuclear plants challenged the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's decision to restart one of the plants. The plant had been closed for refueling at the time the other plant suffered a serious accident. The residents contended that the Commission failed to consider the psychological harm that reopening the plant and exposing the community to the risk of nuclear accident might cause. ISSUE: Does the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) require an agency to evaluate the psychological effects of the risk of a nuclear power plant accident? DECISION: No. REASONS: 1. Where an agency action significantly affects the quality of the human environment, NEPA requires preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS). 2. NEPA does not require the agency to consider every effect of proposed action but only the effect on the environment .
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