ASSOCIATED PRESS

Texas judge sets trial for whooping crane deaths

Jul 28, 2010 | Associated Press by TX State Wire | TAP In The News

HOUSTON (AP) – A federal judge in south Texas has set a trial date for a lawsuit that alleges poor Texas environmental regulations caused record die-offs among endangered whooping cranes.

The case has been brought by a nonprofit conservation group, The Aransas Project.

U.S. District Judge Janis Jack of Corpus Christi set the trial for March 2 on Wednesday.

The case accuses the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality of not restricting the amount of water taken from rivers that feed the crane’s coastal nesting grounds. It says the commission has approved too many water-use permits for rapidly growing areas in south Texas.

In the winter of 2008, 23 whooping cranes died. In an average winter, only one dies.

TCEQ has said it diverts river flows based on conditions.

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