Today, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice of intent to sue Mazda-Toyota Manufacturing, and the city of Huntsville over the construction of an auto plant near the habitat of one of Alabama's rarest fishes.
This comes one day after construction resumed after being halted for a week. During this time the manufacturing company met with the Center for Biological Diversity to review the site.
Mazda-Toyota chose this TVA megasite in Limestone County.
Independent environmental experts evaluated the project design and determined the best management practices are robust, and protect the endangered fish.
Mazda-Toyota is being build on a 2,400-acre area west of Huntsville. The $1.6 billion automotive assembly plant, known as the "Huntsville Mega Site."
The Center of Biological Diversity says, the construction threatens to pollute and degrade springs, steams and wetlands that support the endangered spring pygmy sunfish.
The City of Huntsville released a statement saying the following:
The threat of this type of development led the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the sunfish under the Endangered Species Act in 2013. The act requires Mazda-Toyota and the City to prepare a habitat conservation plan and apply for an incidental take permit before they begin construction.
Elise Bennett, The CBD's Attorney told WAAY 31," they haven't seen any type of comprehensive plan on how their plant will affect the fish and how they are going to be sure the fish won't go extinct."
Mazda-Toyota's communication analyst, Kim Ogle said, "we are confident that the pygmy fish and it's habitat will be adequately protected, and we are ready to move forward.
The agency said, this development located adjacent from the Beaverdam Spring/Creek system would directly impact the Spring Pygmy Sunfishes' habitat by decreasing water quality and quantity.
The Center for Biological Diversity's Attorney told us, "they have not received a response to their letter from either the city of Mazda-Toyota.