Contact(s): Stacy Rowe, Endangered Resources Energy & Transportation Review Specialist, 608-266-7012, email@example.com
April 8, 2020 at 3:33:25 pm
MADISON, Wis. - The Sparta Area Main Extension Projects may result in the "incidental taking" of the state-endangered slender glass lizard under a permit the Department of Natural Resources proposes to issue for the project. Incidental take refers to the unintentional loss of individual endangered or threatened animals or plants that does not put the overall population of the species at risk.
We Energies recently installed the Sparta Lateral Natural Gas pipeline (Sparta Lateral, PSC #6650-CG-256), a natural gas main extension, extending from the pre-existing Wisconsin Gas West Central Lateral pipeline to the city of Sparta. Since its construction, the Sparta Lateral has provided an opportunity for many nearby homeowners, farmsteads and businesses for improved access to natural gas. Consequently, a succession of company projects have recently been designed or scoped for construction in areas nearby.
These related projects are generally of similar size and utilize similar construction methods. Therefore, a single incidental take permit (ITP) to cover the related projects is reasonable and preferable to multiple, project-specific permits. The company currently has seven projects designed and ready for construction. Several other projects collectively referred to as "unknown projects" are at various stages of planning and design. These unknown projects will be limited in area and will have a combined area of 6,000-square feet or less. Project types include gas distribution extensions ranging in scope from single customer service to a full subdivision.
The presence of the state-endangered slender glass lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus) has been confirmed in the vicinity of the project site. DNR staff determined that the proposed project may result in the incidental taking of some lizards.
Department staff concluded that the proposed project is not likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival or recovery of the species within the state, the whole plant-animal community of which it is a part or the habitat that is critical to its existence.
The department is requesting comments from the public through May 8, 2020, regarding project-related impacts to the slender glass lizard. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the slender glass lizard are available by searching the DNR website for incidental take public notice. During the COVID-19 public health emergency, we request comments be sent via email or phone to Stacy Rowe at 608-266-7012 or firstname.lastname@example.org, but they can also be mailed to 101 S. Webster St., Madison, WI 53707.