Report: Could Shrimp-Like Creature Be (New) Hold-Up for Purple Line?

Is a little crustacean powerful enough to stop the Purple Line?

The proposed Purple Line's path between Bethesda and New Carrollton. Credit: Courtesy of the Maryland Transit Administration.
The proposed Purple Line's path between Bethesda and New Carrollton. Credit: Courtesy of the Maryland Transit Administration.
The next big hold-up for the planned Purple Line could be only half a centimeter in length, The Washington Post and ABC 7 reported.

It's the Hay's Spring amphipod, a little, eyeless, colorless, shrimp-like crustacean found in Rock Creek in Northwest Washington, DC, and some environmentalists say it also could be in the creek in Montgomery County, ABC 7 reported.

It is believed that the only home in the world of this rare little creature—a federally protected endangered species whose presence indicates good water quality—is in Rock Creek Park, The Post reported. 

The proposed Purple Line, which is planned to connect Bethesda to New Carrollton via a light rail line, would pass through Rock Creek Park in Montgomery County.

"John M. Fitzgerald, a Chevy Chase resident and lawyer, said he and other environmentalists are contemplating a lawsuit to require the Maryland Transit Administration to consider a light-rail line’s impact on the animal," The Post added.

No mention of the Hay's Spring amphipod was made in the final environmental impact study for the Purple Line—the comment period for which closed on Oct. 21, 2013—The Post reported.

>>>Read more about the little creature—and how it could impact the Purple Line—on the websites of The Post and ABC 7.

Many local residents (including Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail) are against the building of the Purple Line in its proposed path in part because the rail would replace mature trees along part of the Capital Crescent Trail (which follows an abandoned set of railroad tracks). 
Eric S. December 05, 2013 at 09:44 AM
Funny how when a protected species benefits this class of people, they're suddenly for these laws. If it gets in the way of one of THEIR investments, or is holding up development of something they want that displaces poor people, it's suddenly horrible. Ugh.
Arthur Sherman December 07, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Where were you when the ICC was being built, across the upper Rock Creek watershed?
Eric S. December 09, 2013 at 02:00 PM
I was around for that too and said essentially the same thing. That said I would note that I felt the ICC thing to be a little more NIMBY and this is both NIMBY and on some levels not in favor of public transit. Now, as someone who supports good public transit, biking, and environmental regulations, I find myself torn on the whole thing. I'd be thrilled with something less impactful like BRT, but that would require people to not freak out about using the bus, E-W Highway to not be unpredictable, and magic that somehow makes buses work in bad weather.


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