Description: Challenge to solar energy project in California that allegedly would have impacts on wildlife also affected by climate change.
Defenders of Wildlife v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 04/15/2016 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Environmental Groups Said Solar Facility Threatened Recovery of Species in California, Cited Climate Change Impacts on Habitat. Three environmental groups filed a complaint in the federal district court for the Northern District of California alleging that the FWS and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had not complied with the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act in connection with a proposed solar energy project in the Panoche Valley in California. The ESA claims involved allegations that a Biological Opinion (BiOp) issued for the endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizard failed to adequately consider the project’s impacts on the recovery of the lizard. The complaint alleged that recent science indicated that climate change would have a “devastating range-wide impact” on the species. The ESA claims also concerned the BiOp for the giant kangaroo rat; the complaint said destruction and fragmentation of habitat could cause “localized extirpations” that might not recover, particularly if climate change projections for the species’ habitat were correct.