Advocates for Native Americans are challenging the federal government's ability to administer six sizable solar facilities in Southern California, according to a published report.
La Cuna de Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle filed a federal lawsuit claiming the Bureau of Land Management, a subagency beneath the jurisdiction of the Interior Department, was dependent on faulty information that does not adequately represent the truth about the facilities' environmental impact. In addition, the suit alleges that the BLM failed to discuss the matter with regional tribes.
Filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, the lawsuit represents an obstacle to solar facilities approved for construction in the Mohave, Sonoran and Colorado deserts. The companies that oversee the six projects are Brightsource Energy, Chevron Energy Solutions and Solar Millenium, Tessera/NTR and Florida Power and Light subsidiary NextEra.
Californians for Renewable Energy and six individual Native American plaintiffs joined La Cuna de Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle.
Interior Department secretary Ken Salazar approved permits for the six solar facilities as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, which enables the federal government to provide each project with a 30 percent cash grant.