NEVADA – A geothermal project in Nevada has been sent back to the drawing board after federal land managers decided to reevaluate their approval in light of the endangered status of a small rare toad species.
The U.S. Department of the Interior announced a new environmental analysis for the Dixie Meadows geothermal project by Ormat Nevada Inc, which was initially approved before listing the Dixie Valley toad under the Endangered Species Act.
Construction on the project will be halted until the review is completed and the impact on the toad is assessed.
The project had faced legal challenges from environmental groups and Native American tribes concerned about the potential harm to the toad and nearby sacred springs.
Ormat has submitted a revised plan, reducing the project’s size to a single geothermal power plant, in an attempt to address wildlife officials’ concerns.
However, conservationists argue that a thorough review may reveal more significant impacts on the endangered species.
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