Aberdeen & Rockfish R. Co. v. Students Challenging Regulatory Agency Procedures
In Aberdeen & Rockfish R. Co. v. Students Challenging Regulatory Agency Procedures, 422 U.S. 289, 95 S.Ct. 2336, 45 L.Ed.2d 191 (1975), the Supreme Court held that the Interstate Commerce Commission's decision not to issue an EIS in a general revenue proceeding concerning railroad freight rate increases was final agency action despite the interim nature of the proceeding.
"When agency or departmental consideration of environmental factors in connection with that 'federal action' is complete, notions of finality and exhaustion do not stand in the way of judicial review of the adequacy of such consideration, even though other aspects of the (action) are not ripe for review." Id. at 319, 95 S.Ct. at 2355.
In Aberdeen & Rockfish Railroad Company v. SCRAP, 422 U.S. 289, 95 S.Ct. 2336, 45 L.Ed.2d 191 (1975), the Court was presented with a request for an environmental impact statement in connection with proposed surcharges and general rate increases approved by the ICC.
The Court held that a statement was not required until ICC approval of the railroads' proposals had actually been issued. "(T)he time at which the agency must prepare the final 'statement' is the time at which it makes a recommendation or report on a proposal for federal action." Id. at 320, 95 S.Ct. at 2356.