McGOVERN, District Judge:
By Complaint filed January 13, 1972, plaintiff individuals, community and environmental organizations alleged that the United States, through Housing and Urban Development Secretary George Romney, had illegally approved and financed the Yerba Buena Center Redevelopment Project in San Francisco and the West Berkeley Industrial Park Redevelopment Project in Berkeley, California. Plaintiffs' claims were premised upon the theory that the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (hereafter HUD) had failed to file for each project an Environmental Impact Statement as required by Section 102(2) (C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 83 Stat. 853, 42 U.S.C. § 4332, which provides:
The trial court, 342 F.Supp. 77, denied plaintiffs' Motions for Preliminary Injunction and Summary Judgment, and on May 3, 1972, granted the Motion of the Federal defendants to dismiss the Complaint. This Appeal followed. Appellants' Motion for Injunction pending the Appeal was denied by this Court on June 16, 1972, but thereafter granted by Justice William O. Douglas on June 26, 1972.
The West Berkeley Project consists of a 20-block area in West Berkeley along the eastern edge of the Eastshore Freeway. When renewed as planned, the area will enclose primarily commercial buildings and other facilities intended for industrial purposes. The project was contemplated originally to be part of a federal urban renewal program, but subsequently was converted to a Neighborhood Development Program. On February 10, 1970, HUD entered into an agreement with the Berkeley Redevelopment Agency and approved a Neighborhood Development Project grant of $961,332 for the first action year of the project. A second action year grant was subsequently approved on June 3, 1971 and a third action year application for grant and loan is now pending.
San Francisco Yerba Buena Project consists of 87 acres in the City and County of San Francisco and is bounded generally by Second and Fifth Streets on the east and west and Market and Harrison Streets on the north and south. As currently planned, the presently blighted area will have new commercial buildings, parking facilities for 4,000 automobiles, a convention center, a large hotel and other facilities. On December 2, 1966, HUD executed a loan and grant contract
These projects represent two types of HUD urban renewal projects which may qualify for federal financial assistance under the slum clearance and urban renewal provision of the Housing Act of 1949, 68 Stat. 622, as amended, 42 U.S. C. § 1450 et seq. The conventional Yerba Buena Center project is planned and funded as one unit, the other, the Neighborhood Development, or West Berkeley Industrial Park, project is funded in annual increments, and the Government may terminate the project at the end of any year.
The trial court concluded that the plaintiffs had no standing to challenge the projects because the plaintiffs' property or other legal interests in the project were neither greater nor lesser than those of other organizations or persons.
As for the Berkeley project, an individual plaintiff, William Walker, resides within the project area and has alleged sufficient environmental injury to be entitled to his day in Court.
We also note that the federal appellees here have changed their position on the question of standing, and now state in their brief on appeal: "Since it appears from the record that at least some of the plaintiffs have satisfied recent Supreme Court requirements for standing, the Government is not challenging standing before this Court."
The controversy before us should be decided by an examination of the facts, as is necessarily required in every NEPA case.
The National Environmental Policy Act became effective on January 1, 1970 and its terms are applicable to all agencies of the Federal Government which thereafter engage in further "major federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment . . .".
The Act does not by direct language or by implication call for retrospective application. In fact, the Council on Environmental Quality, the agency created by NEPA to enforce the Act, states in its interim guidelines of April 23, 1971 that existing federal projects and programs are affected only by further major action, as follows:
Also see Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Inc. v. Bartlett, 454 F.2d 613, 624 (Third Circuit, 1971).
The controlling question before us is whether or not subsequent to January 1, 1970, some further major action which would significantly affect the quality of the human environment, was required of the Federal Government in the development of either the Yerba Buena Center or the West Berkeley Industrial Park projects.
The chronological series of events pertaining to the Yerba Buena Center shed some light on the subject and are as follows:
September 5, 1962: HUD advanced funds to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency in order that the latter might survey, study and prepare plans for the proposed urban area to be renewed.
December 1, 1964: The initial redevelopment plan was submitted to HUD.
December 7, 1965: The redevelopment plan was approved by the Redevelopment Agency Commissioners.
January 13, 1966: The redevelopment plan was approved by the San Francisco City Planning Commission.
October 20, 1966: The redevelopment plan was approved by HUD for federal financing.
December 2, 1966: HUD signed a loan and grant contract with the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, providing for a federal loan to the agency of $49,754,729, a federal project grant of $29,834,484 and a federal relocation grant of $1,320,795.
Urban renewal funds were committed to the project for limited purposes only. The Redevelopment Agency may use the funds to purchase the land within the renewal area, relocate the displaced residents, demolish buildings in the area, and provide for site grading streets and utilities. The funds may not be used for building construction and the Federal Government does not acquire or redevelop the properties.
When the National Environmental Policy act became effective on January 1, 1970, the federal involvement in the Yerba Buena Center project was virtually complete. In fact, for purposes of NEPA, major federal action had terminated on December 2, 1966 when HUD became contractually obligated to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency for the loan and grants. The record before us shows no further major federal involvement subsequent to that time.
Appellants argue that the June 26, 1970 and April 28, 1972 amendatory grants to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and Hud's contractual right to monitor the project as it develops to assure compliance with statutory and contractual requirements constituted major federal actions subsequent to the passage of NEPA. We hold otherwise.
Amendatory contracts which increase the federal funding only to provide for the rising costs of land acquisition and relocation of displaced residents do not constitute "further major federal action" within the meaning of the Act. Instead, such amendments represent but confirmation of the Federal Government's earlier decision that the project proposal conformed to HUD requirements and was therefore eligible for a grant and loan. The major federal action was the execution of the initial grant and loan contract which occurred over four years before the effective date of NEPA. Monitoring the project only assures HUD that the undertakings of SFRA under its contract of December 2, 1966 will be fulfilled and involves no further major federal action.
Appellant's strong reliance on highway cases
In this urban renewal case, however, the crucial federal action occurred when HUD contracted a loan and grants with the local agency in 1966. No further major stage requiring action by HUD having a significant effect on the environment has occurred since then.
It is otherwise, however, as to the West Berkeley Project. HUD's agreement of February 10, 1970 with the Berkeley Redevelopment Agency significantly changed an industrial park
The order of the trial court is affirmed as to the Yerba Buena Center Redevelopment Project in San Francisco and reversed as to the West Berkeley Industrial Park Redevelopment Project.