By Miriam Raftery
September 13, 2012 (Ocotillo) – Two new lawsuits were filed September 11, 2012 against federal officials and the U.S. government seeking an injunction to halt construction at Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Express industrial wind project.
One suit targets U.S. Fish & Wildlife officials for allegedly violating the Endangered Species Act and failing to protect endangered Peninsular Bighorn Sheep. Active signs of bighorn activity on the site have been spotted as recently as this week and photos clearly document recent sitings in the heart of the project.
The second suit takes aim at Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Department of Interior officials for ignoring California Desert Conservation Area protections passed by Congress to conserve fragile desert areas for future generations. This suit alleges that officials also ignored many other laws intended to protect natural and cultural resources, views, archaeological sites, and the health of local residents.