A small fish has halted development of $1.6 billion automotive manufacturing plant in north Alabama.
Toyota and Mazda announced in January that the companies would be building a joint plant in Limestone County.
The announcement was followed in June with a lawsuit from the Center for Biological Diversity. The lawsuit cites the Endangered Species Act of 2012 in regard to a species of sunfish that calls Limestone County home.
The CBD maintains that the pygmy sunfish, a species that only lives in a six-mile portion of Limestone County streams, would be further endangered by the construction of the plant.
Toyota issued the following response on Thursday, July 12:
We are aware of the Center for Biological Diversity’s concerns regarding the sunfish. Throughout the planning and design of this project we continue to work closely with US Fish and Wildlife Service, the City of Huntsville and our joint venture partner, Mazda, to ensure that the necessary protections are in place.
Mazda and Toyota continue to make environmental preservation a priority and we are committed to developing the property sustainability. We have temporarily suspended construction to allow for additional technical surveys to be completed and confirm that the sunfish will be protected. We anticipate that this will be a short-term suspension and that construction will resume shortly with minimal disruption.