Attorney explains lawsuit over threatened fish

One attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity explains the goal of the lawsuit and what they need to happen to protect the threatened fish.

Posted: Jul 13, 2018 5:54 PM
Updated: Jul 13, 2018 6:44 PM

A 1-inch fish has halted a billion dollar development. The Center for Biological Diversity told WAAY31 they are working with Mazda-Toyota to help protect the Spring Pygmy Sunfish, an endangered species only found near the development site.

On Friday, Elise Bennett, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity said they've been in contact with Mazda-Toyota and it comes down to two options.

"Well certaintly when we first came to them, we said it's really a matter of re-siting the plant or coming up with protective measures that avoid harming the species," Bennett said.

All Elise Bennett wants is the protection of the Spring Pygmy Sunfish, and the organization she works for wants the threatened fish to be protected, otherwise construction could cause the end of the Spring Pygmy Sunfish.

"...when it rains they wash out into the springs and into the creek systems and this is an unnatural level of debris that goes into the water," Bennett said.

But her organization never filed a suit against the Mazda-Toyota plant.

"And the suit is to get the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to do what it is required to do under the endangered species act."

Bennett says they believe the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has not done its job and the goal of the lawsuit is to change that.

"We simply want to see the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalize and designate those critical habitats so that the Spring Pygmy Sunfish has these crucial habitat protections it needs to survive."

The city of Huntsville told WAAY31 this is just a short-term suspension to do additional surveys concerning protecting the fish and they anticipate construction to resume shortly. There is no word on whether relocation of the Mazda-Toyota plant is even an option.

Article Comments

Few Clouds
55° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 55°
58° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 58°
54° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 54°
55° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 55°
55° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 55°
WAAY Radar
WAAY Temperatures

Community Events