Tennessee Riverkeeper joins effort to sue Mazda Toyota over fish at construction site

The clock on the waiting period restarted on Tuesday because the intent to sue letter was re-sent.

Posted: Aug 14, 2018 4:35 PM

Tuesday, the clock restarted on the 60 day wait period before any action can be taken against Mazda Toyota and the City of Huntsville over the Spring Pygmy Sunfish.

WAAY 31 learned local environmental group Tennessee Riverkeeper joined the Center of Biological Diversity in its efforts to protect the fish and the two groups sent a new joint intent to sue letter to the City and automotive group.

The founder of Tennessee Riverkeeper, David Whiteside, told me the intent to sue letter hasn't changed, but since the Tennessee Riverkeeper was added it had to be re-sent. He decided to join the Center for Biological Diversity because the local group was able to provide resources and have a more prominent presence always available to visit the site.

"Just because it's a rare fish doesn't mean it's not important or not worth protecting. Just because it's small and we can't eat it doesn't mean we shouldn't protect it. We need to protect all endangered species," Whiteside said.

He explained his group is bringing in experts from the area to look at the site and help make sure what is happening won't make the fish go extinct. Whiteside explained Tennessee Riverkeeper and the Center for Biological Diversity are not trying to stop the Mazda Toyota plant from being built. Both groups just want to make sure during construction and once it's complete the fish will be safe.

The groups are still planning to sue both Mazda Toyota and the City of Huntsville after 60 days if they believe enough hasn't been done to protect the fish.

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