August 26, 2014
MADISON -- Construction of a new natural gas lateral in west central Wisconsin may result in the "incidental taking" of several rare species under an authorization 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.
Wisconsin Gas LLC (Wisconsin Gas) proposes to construct a new natural gas lateral, referred to as the West Central Lateral Project, in order to provide a reliable supply to existing customers and meet future demand.
The presence of the state threatened prairie leafhopper (Polyamia dilata), state endangered phlox moth (Schinia indiana), state threatened frosted elfin (Callophrys irus), and state threatened wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) have been confirmed in the vicinity of the project site. DNR staff determined that the proposed project may result in the incidental taking of these species; however, they concluded that the proposed project will minimize the impacts to the species by adhering to conservation measures; is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence and recovery of the state population of these species or the whole plant-animal community of which they are a part; and has benefit to the public health, safety or welfare that justifies the action.
The conservation measures to minimize the adverse effect on the endangered/threatened species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Authorization. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the species are available by searching the DNR website for incidental take public notice or upon request from Rori Paloski at 608-264-6040. Public comments will be taken through Sept. 9, 2014 and should be sent to Rori Paloski, Conservation Biologist, WDNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bill Cosh, DNR spokesperson, 608-267-2273