Eleven regional and national environmental organizations have announced plans to file suit against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) over its final designation of the Mid-Atlantic National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor (Mid-Atlantic NIETC). Led by the National Wildlife Federation and the Piedmont Environmental Council, the groups are challenging the designation on grounds that the DOE violated the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act by failing to study the potential harmful impacts of the corridor on air quality, wildlife, habitat and other natural resources.
‘The Department of Energy has failed to do even the basic due diligence and analyze responsible and cost-effective alternative ways of meeting the region's energy needs,’ says Christopher G. Miller, president of the Piedmont Environmental Council. ‘Efficiency and conservation should be the first order of business. Reducing both peak and base load demand through energy efficiency, conservation and expanding demand response programs should be a priority.’
Joining the lawsuit are Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, Environmental Advocates of New York, Clean Air Council, Pennsylvania Land Trust Association, Civil War Preservation Trust, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Brandywine Conservancy and Natural Lands Trust. They are asking the U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania to compel DOE to perform an environmental impact statement on the corridor and consult with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over impacts to endangered species as required by law.