Sierra Club, Inc. v. Power Auth. of the State of New York – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Sierra Club, Inc. v. Power Auth. of the State of New York, 203 A.D.2d 15, 609 N.Y.S.2d 599 (1st Dept 1994), petitioners brought an Article 78 proceeding in May 1990 seeking to challenge the proposed construction of hydroelectric dams in Quebec.

A letter of intent to go forward with the project had been signed by the contracting parties in December 1988 and the specifics of such agreement, which was later executed, were approved by respondents' trustees in June 1989.

In determining that the action was untimely, the court held that respondents' approval of the specifics of the agreement in June 1989 constituted a final agency determination as "it was then that the Power Authority's commitment under the terms of the agreement became 'formulated and proposed' and the administrative process...conferred finality." Id. at 16.

The court noted that "even if the subsequent formal contract had modified the terms of the approval, this fact would not, per se, render the initial approval less final." Id.