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Purple Line Faces New Obstacle: Endangered Shrimp-Like Creature

Groups opposed to the Purple Line light rail project in Montgomery County say it will damage a local stream that is a home to an endangered shrimp-like species.

The Chevy Chase Town Council has voted to give $10,000 to the group Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail so it can pay an American University professor to study how construction of the light rail system will impact the Maryland section of the Rock Creek, which is downstream from the Purple Line's proposed route.

Todd Hoffman, the Chevy Chase town manager, says the project could destroy an endangered crustacean known as the Hay’s Spring amphipod and two other similar species that live in the stream.

"We're not going to know the specific impacts on the ecosystem until these endangered species might be gone. So we feel it is worthwhile — the Council feels it is worthwhile — to establish this baseline data so we know what is present in Rock Creek with respect to endangered species," he says.

Purple Line advocate Tina Slater says the federal environmental impact statement has already dealt with this issue.

"The Federal Transit Administration and the Maryland Transit Administration have consulted with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Maryland Department of Natural Resources regarding the Endangered Species Act, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined the project will have no impact on the protected species," she says.

Maryland recently learned the Purple Line will receive federal funding, and construction is scheduled to start next year.

Disclosure: WAMU 88.5 is licensed to American University.

WAMU 88.5

Barry Meier: "Missing Man"

Nine years ago, former FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared in Iran while on a mission for the CIA. The story of his secret journey to Iran, the CIA cover-up that followed and efforts to rescue the longest-held U.S. hostage.

NPR

'Invisible Army' Of Immigrant Women Finds Its Voice Through Cooking

Brazilian immigrant Roberta Siao says being both a foreigner and mother made it hard to find work in London. At Mazi Mas, a restaurant that trains and employs immigrants, she found more than a job.
WAMU 88.5

The Fight for D.C.'s Budget Freedom

Last week, a House committee with oversight of the District passed legislation that would block the ability of the Council to spend its own tax dollars.

WAMU 88.5

The U.S. Expands Ties To Vietnam

President Barack Obama lifts the embargo against U.S. arms sales to Vietnam. We discuss what closer ties between the U.S. and Vietnam mean for trade, leverage on human rights and growing concerns over China's military expansion.

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