Critically endangered fish halts Mazda Toyota plant construction

An environmental protection group is suing over the protection of the fish.

Posted: Jul 12, 2018 6:06 PM
Updated: Jul 12, 2018 10:48 PM

Work has temporarily stopped at the construction site of the Mazda-Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. plant, because of a threatened species of fish.

The Center for Biological Diversity is suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to protect the Spring Pygmy Sunfish.

The critically endangered species lives in Beaverdam Creek, which begins as an underground spring east of Powell Road near the Mazda Toyota site.

The lawsuit claims Mazda Toyota will disrupt water quality and flow.

The environmental group claims, without proper mitigation, the fish could be pushed to extinction.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle told WAAY 31 they thought this issue was resolved before completing the agreement with Mazda Toyota, but this lawsuit brought it back up.

He said the city had an agreement with the fish and wildlife service showing they had done what is necessary to protect the fish.

"We have studies that show we're in great shape there that we are protecting the habitat, probably protecting the habitat better than when it was farm land, but Toyota said lets look at it one more time. We're going to have an independent consultant come in and look. Their independent consultant came in and I think we're in great shape."

Battle told WAAY 31 work should start again on the beginning stages of the plant next week.

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