Defenders Wins Smart Growth Lawsuit


Washington [D.C.]--On March 21, 2003, Defenders of Property Rights,
which had intervened on behalf of the National Black Chamber of Commerce
and the Small Business Survival Committee, successfully blocked a
lawsuit brought by the Forest Conservation Council and Friends of the Earth
aimed at gutting the Small Business Administration's lending and
guarantee program. The environmental groups claimed that their objective was
to combat urban sprawl, and they alleged in their lawsuit that small
businesses cause urban sprawl, Forest Conservation Counsel et al. v. SBA,
1:00CV02444 EGS. Rather than defend this lawsuit, the Small Business
Administration had agreed to deal that would have foisted unprecedented
environmental requirements off on small business loan applicants, and in
turn, expanded the reach of environmental regulation in ways not
authorized by Congress or agency rulemaking. The agency had agreed to this
arrangement, taking it outside its normal rulemaking process.

"Small business loans can spell the difference between prosperity and
bankruptcy for small business owners. These are very the individuals in
our country who fuel the American dream, the American dream of
prosperity, to have a business, and to have that piece of the pie. Government
should not require them to go out and seek environmental permits and
approvals for which there's no basis in law to request," said Nancie G.
Marzulla, President of Defenders of Property Rights.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan agreed with Defenders of
Property Rights, further stating "if indeed, the federal government is
requiring people to provide information that it has absolutely no right to
do so, then, indeed, there is legal prejudice."

Defenders of Property Rights is the only national public interest legal
foundation dedicated exclusively to the protection of property rights.

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Defenders of Property Rights
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Washington, D.C. 20036
202.822.6774 fax


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