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ENVIRONMENTAL LAW An environmental-impact statement was not necessary for new flight patterns for Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held on Apr. 15. Town of Cave Creek v. FAA, No. 02-1021. The Town of Cave Creek, Ariz., and other municipalities surrounding the Phoenix airport filed suit, alleging that the Federal Aviation Administration erred in approving new flight patterns without producing a comprehensive environmental-impact statement. Denying the town’s petition for review of the FAA’s order approving the flight plans, the court held that environmental-impact statements were required only when the agency’s actions “significantly affect the quality of the human environment.” As for Sky Harbor, the court said, “the FAA properly employed a well-established methodology. Petitioners raise only nominal challenges to the agency’s methodology and findings, and their other arguments lack merit.”

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