Brief Filed In Challenge To Highway Bypass Through Sensitive Wetland, Interior Forest, And Threatened Bat Habitat Near Waukesha, Wisconsin

On behalf of two community associations, the Waukesha County Environmental Action League and the Coalition Opposed to the West Waukesha Bypass, we have filed a brief challenging the Federal Highway Administration’s approval of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s decision to construct and fund the Waukesha Bypass – a major highway project that would construct a four-lane, north-south highway west of the city of Waukesha, Wisconsin.  In violation of the National Environmental Policy Act’s “look before you leap” requirements, the highway project was approved without proper consideration of reasonable alternatives or the indirect and cumulative effects of the project on wetlands water quality, and air quality.  Additionally, new information recently disclosed demonstrates that the project will disturb improperly disposed hazardous waste, and have increased adverse impacts on wetlands, groundwater, upland forest habitat, and a threatened species newly protected under the Endangered Species Act, the Northern Long-Eared Bat – all of which have never been evaluated but which federal law requires the agencies evaluate.  Our brief argues that the agencies violated federal law when approving this highway project without properly evaluating its potentially significant environmental effects, and by failing to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service over the project’s adverse impacts to the threatened Northern Long-Eared Bat. A copy of our brief is available here.