September 15, 2015

Corps of Engineers to be sued over Gulf turtles, other endangered species

From a press release:
The Friends of Lydia Ann Channel (“FLAC”) has formally notified the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) of its intent to file a Federal Lawsuit for violations of the Endangered Species Act and other federal statutes resulting from serious substantive and procedural defects in their authorization of the construction and operation of a commercial industrial barge fleeting, storage, and service facility owned and operated by Lydia Ann Channel Moorings.  
This 60-day Notice of Intent is required prior to filing a citizen lawsuit under the Endangered Species Act, which is just one of the federal statutes violated by the USACE.  
The USACE’s authorization of this commercial industrial barge fleeting, storage, and service facility violates Section 7 and Section 9 of the ESA, and will result in adverse impacts to and the unlawful “take” of listed endangered species, including specifically whooping cranes, piping plover, rufa red knot, Atlantic hawksbill sea turtle, green sea turtle, Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle, and loggerhead sea turtle.  
The USACE arbitrarily determined that no effects to listed endangered species would occur without ever requiring, conducting or reviewing any scientific surveys, studies, or evaluations regarding the impacts that would result from the construction and operation of this commercial industrial barge fleeting, storage, and service facility.  
In addition, the USACE dismissed or ignored issues raised by other resource agencies, including the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, related to potential impacts to marine mammals and sea turtles, impacts to seagrass, and the risk of oil or pollutant spills to local habitats. 

None of this surprises me about the Corps, and it hasn't for well over a decade.

I laughed internally, long ago, when I was the editor of a suburban Dallas weekly, and a Lancaster City Council member with some interest in matters environmental thought how great it would be to have the Corps work on southern Dallas/Dallas County's Ten Mile Creek.

No, Carol, it would have been horrible.

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