Description: Challenge to toll bridge in the Currituck Outer Banks in North Carolina.
North Carolina Wildlife Federation v. North Carolina Department of Transportation
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 04/23/2019 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Challenge to Outer Banks Toll Bridge Alleged Failure by Transportation Agencies to Consider Recent Advances in Climate Science. A North Carolina conservation organization and a local citizen group filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the Eastern District of North Carolina challenging approvals for a toll bridge in the Currituck Outer Banks. The plaintiffs alleged that transportation agencies had approved the project in March 2019 without any public review of the project since a final environmental impact statement (EIS) was completed in January 2012 after the project had failed to move forward for decades due to concerns about the need for the bridge, its potential environmental impacts, and the availability of alternatives. The plaintiffs alleged that a number of issues warranted further scrutiny, including that in the intervening years “the science behind sea level rise, storm surge, and climate change models has significantly advanced—with implications for the durability of the Toll Bridge, its utility as a hurricane evacuation route, and its financial viability as a toll revenue generating facility.” The plaintiffs said the reevaluation of the 2012 EIS had not considered recent advances in climate change science; up-to-date sea level projections; recent observed and projected increases in storm surge magnitude; intensifying hurricanes; or marsh migration. The plaintiffs asserted a number of claims under NEPA, including that a supplemental EIS should have been prepared to address, among other issues, the new data about sea level rise and storm surge impacts.