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Playa Vista | Community News File

Project Violates Endangered Species Act, Group Claims

August 21, 1997

A group of environmentalists Wednesday said they will sue Playa Vista's developers, including the powerful DreamWorks SKG backers, for alleged violation of the federal Endangered Species Act in their efforts to build on the 1,000-acre site.

Officials from the Wetlands Action Network, Southwest Center for Biological Diversity, California Public Interest Research Group and Ballona Wetlands Land Trust said they notified the Army Corps of Engineers, developers Maguire Partners, DreamWorks chief Steven Spielberg and other agencies involved in building on the 1,000-acre site that a suit would be filed in 60 days.

An earlier effort by another environmental group, the Earth Trust Foundation, to block development by claiming flaws in the city of Los Angeles' environmental impact report was turned down in court last year.

Environmentalists on Wednesday claimed that when the Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit to Maguire Partners in 1992 to create a commercial and residential community known as Playa Vista, the corps failed to determine whether any endangered species were present, and failed to assess whether any such species would be affected by the project's construction.

Both actions are required under the federal Endangered Species Act, said Marcia Hanscom of the Wetlands Action Network.

She said information about the endangered species came to light after her group and others filed an earlier suit claiming the Corps violated the Clean Water Act when it granted the building permits.

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