FWS to consider concerns about endangered fish

6:49 PM, May 20, 2013   |    comments
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By TRAVIS LOLLER / Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the agency takes seriously the concerns of environmentalists that two East Tennessee mines are a threat to endangered fish.

The Sierra Club and several other groups sued the Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday. They claim the agency did not use the most up-to-date science when it agreed to allow surface mining at Zeb Mountain and Davis Creek. The environmental groups say the blackside dace and Cumberland darter are threatened by mine wastewater that is high in dissolved salts and makes nearby streams too salty for the fish.

Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Tom MacKenzie said the agency takes very seriously its duty to protect endangered species. He said the agency will look at all aspects of the lawsuit.

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