Brown, Deborah Loran
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The environmental impact of federally funded highways was the major environmental litigation topic in the Fifth Circuit this survey period. The two survey period environmental cases discussed in this article are National Wildlife Federation v. Coleman and Louisiana Environmental Society, Inc. v. Coleman. The highway project in National Wildlife was attacked by environmentalists under both section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and section 4f of the Department of Transportation Act (DOTA). The Fifth Circuit in National Wildlife became the first appellate court to interpret the substantive requirements of section 7 of ESA, and undoubtedly the case will have great precedential value. The second case discussed in this article, Louisiana Environmental Society, involved section 4f of DOTA. The Fifth Circuit in both Louisiana Environmental Society and National Wildlife more precisely defined the deceptively simple language of section 4f.