An environmental activist group is once again fighting the City of Huntsville over the $1.6 billion Mazda Toyota Automotive Plant that's being built. This time it's asking for the city's plan for site prep. An attorney for the U.S. Center of Biological Diversity sent an open records request to the City of Huntsville asking for the city's plans regarding storm water run-off, grading and environmental monitoring at the the site of the future plant.
The attorney for the group claims construction for the site is slated to start by the end of the year with little to no information released to the public. The group's asking the city to reveal what plans it has for the 2,400 acre mega site. The center has previously sent the city a notice of its intent to sue, because it believes the plant could impact the critically endangered species, the Spring Pygmy Sunfish.
The City told WAAY 31 Friday it has received the Open Records Request, and it has been forwarded to its lawyers. The city released the following statement in response to our questions about the request:
“The City of Huntsville has been working diligently for almost a decade to preserve and sustain the habitat of the Spring Pygmy Sunfish as part of an extensive environmental approval process for the mega site property. The Spring Pygmy Sunfish environment is better today than when the City of Huntsville purchased the property and better than it has been in the last 50 years when it was a farming operation. The aquifer is protected. We remain confident the design and plan to protect the environment are sound. These measures have been reviewed and approved by technical professionals as well as state and federal agencies, and we are committed to ensuring these safeguards and best practices remain in place to preserve this environment. In doing so, we believe the Moss Spring habitat will remain a healthy safeguard for the Spring Pygmy Sunfish, very similar to the nearby habitat located in Blackwell Spring/Blackwell Swamp within the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge.”