MOSCOW, September 10 (RIA Novosti) – The Center for Biological Diversity has filed a lawsuit against the State Department and the US Fish and Wildlife Service which allegedly withheld critical information about the potential negative impact of the Keystone XL pipeline project on endangered species, an official statement reads.
"The Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit today against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State Department to obtain public records that reveal how the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project will affect migratory birds and endangered species, including whooping cranes," reads the statement published on Tuesday.
"It's revealing that the agencies are doing their best to withhold critical information from the public on Keystone XL's potential impacts to endangered species," Jared Margolis, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity said. "There's every reason to believe Keystone XL will have disastrous impacts on whooping cranes, piping plovers and other protected species. You can only assume that's why they're withholding these key documents - to prevent us from fully assessing these impacts, or the agency's claims to the contrary."
The Center for Biological Diversity carried out an independent investigation into Keystone XL's environmental footprint that revealed that 12 endangered species, including whooping cranes, interior least terns and many others, in four states will be negatively affected by the pipeline.
Habitat destruction and bird deaths from power line collisions and oil spills are just some of the threats that Keystone poses to the local fauna.
So far the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the State Department have refused to issue records that would showcase the potential effects of Keystone on the environment.
"The public has a right to know the toll Keystone XL will have on endangered species," Margolis stated. "The government should stop playing games and provide this information immediately."
The 1,200 mile-long Keystone XL pipeline project to transport tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to a terminal in Steel City, Nebraska is to include hundreds of miles of new power lines. These power lines are believed to represent multiple hazards to cranes as well as perches for birds that prey on endangered interior least terns and piping plovers, Biological Diversity states.