July 24, 2014

Environmental Groups and Residents Threaten State Legal Action to Protect Local Endangered Species

The Center for Sustainable Economy, Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail, and sixteen individuals have filed a Notice of Intent to sue under Maryland law to protect species listed as endangered by the State of Maryland whose current or potential habitat occur in the Chevy Chase Lake area and the potentially affected areas of the nearby Rock Creek watershed near and downstream of the path of the proposed Purple Line and related development. Some of the same organizations and individuals have also filed a Notice of Intent to sue under the Federal Endangered Species Act with regard to these actions.

This action coincides with today’s Montgomery County Planning Board review of the Chevy Chase Lake Development Plan. Town of Chevy Chase resident Christine Real de Azua who testified today stated to the Planning Board to let potential developers know of this issue, “…the Board will also be informing developers of the unresolved nature of the these agenda items at this time and of the legal requirements that apply and will therefore be shielding those developers making the proposal and others who may be interested in developing in the area from the costly consequences of proceeding with construction and with plans that may subsequently be found to be in violation of the law and in need of substantial modifications. “

President of Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail, Ajay Bhatt added “Fortunately there are laws that protect our environment from reckless public action. FCCT is NOT Anti-Transit nor Anti-Development but before any clear-cutting we expect federal, state and local agencies to follow the law that no endangered species nor their habitats are adversely affected.”

For the July 22 Maryland Notice of Intent click here.

For the legal letter to the Montgomery County Planning Board click here.

For the July 24 testimony before the Planning Board click here.