Center for Biological Diversity
Protecting endangered species and wild
For immediate release: December 12, 2001
LAWSUIT FILED TO PROTECT SAN ANTONIOS AQUIFER AND ENDANGERED CAVE SPECIES
San Antonio - The Center for Biological Diversity filed a federal lawsuit today on the contentious development of 1,000 acres on the La Cantera property, charging that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) violated the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act by improperly issuing a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and permitting the development.
The La Cantera development would be located within the Recharge Zone of the Edwards Aquifer, which produces the water used by the greater San Antonio area, and would remove more than 750,000 gallons each day from it. The suit charges that resulting impacts from the development would cause undue harm to the aquifer, and also charges that species protected under the Endangered Species Act would suffer harm if the development proceeds. Two ground beetles (Rhadine exilis and Rhadine infernalis) and a spider, the Madla Cave Meshweaver (Cicurina madla), were listed as endangered in December of 2000 specifically due to the destruction and/or deterioration of habitat caused by construction, filling of caves and karst features, loss of permeable cover and contamination from septic effluent, sewer leaks, run-off, pesticides, and other sources.
Peter Galvin, Conservation Biologist for the Center
for Biological Diversity, stated, cave ecosytems of Bexar Count
are a unique part of this countrys natural heritage and an important
indicator of the overall health of the environment. This project will
not only destroy endangered species habitat, but will further compromise
the critical Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone.
The Center for Biological Diversity was formed in 1989 and has more than 6,000 members. The Center works to protect endangered species and wild places through science, policy, education and environmental law. The Center is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona and works nationwide on wildlife and wildland issues.
The Center is represented in this action by Matt Kenna of Kenna and Hickcox of Durango, Colorado.