Federally Protected Bats Halt Construction

Subscribe to our blog -->  Click Here.

Federally Protected Bats Halt Construction

Plaistow -- The groundbreaking of a new public safety complex has been delayed by more than a month due to the discovery of endangered bats.

The tree adjacent to the current complex is likely the home to Northern Long-eared Bats.  This species is federally protected.  The construction project would impact a small portion of the tree line, so the Army Corps of Engineers has asked the town to put a hold on the work until the end of August, when the habitat cycle has ended for this species. 

This set-back has made the tight $8.5 million budget almost impossible to meet.

"An unknown that came up last week was that we have, potentially, regulatory responsibility to protect the habitat for bats that live in a small area right adjacent to the safety complex.  We're in a race against time and winter and escalation in costs," said Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald.

The bats were listed as a threatened species (one level below endangered) when a rapid decline hit their population in 2006.  The decline was caused by a fungal disease called White Nose Syndrome.

Fitzgerald has said that the regulation has a one-acre minimum.  The construction would have to disturb more than one acre of the bats' habitat.  This project only plans to cut 1/4 of an acre of their habitat, so he's hoping to "seek relief" from regulators.  However, he's not confident he can beat the system.

"I don't think we're going to prevail.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we've been in this before - turtles and bats and other things - and we just don't make any headway," Fitzgerald said.

Read the full story here. 

 

You Might Also Like...

Jul 26, 2016 ... ... building," said the agreement. F.E. Moran Fire Protection ran across a similar situation with an endangered tortoise burrow. See what they did ...

www.femoran.com/construction-bald-eagle-blog/ 

May 11, 2016 ... Dallas, TX -- A construction worker was killed when a forklift overturned and pinned the worker beneath it. The forklift operator was a 36-year ...
www.femoran.com/forklift-accident-blog/
Jun 24, 2016 ... Cincinnati -- Construction Camp teaches children ages 11 to 14 about the various trades within the construction industry. Not only do kids learn ...
www.femoran.com/construction-camp-blog/