SunZia wind power line in New Mexico challenged by tribes

This aerial photo taken on Nov. 13, 2023, by Archaeology Southwest with a volunteer pilot and Lighthawk, a nonprofit organization, shows new access roads and tower pad sites west of the San Pedro River, near Redrock Canyon, in Arizona. The image was included in a lawsuit filed Jan. 17, 2024, asking a U.S. District Court in Arizona to order work to stop on a $10 billion transmission line slated to carry electricity produced by a huge wind power project in central New Mexico to markets including California. (Archaeology Southwest via AP)


Indian tribes and environmental groups joined forces to file suit challenging construction of the Sun Zia transmission line that will originate in New Mexico and carry wind-powered electricity to Arizona and California.

They have asked a federal judge to stop construction that began last week. The 32-page lawsuit was filed Jan. 17 in Tucson, Arizona U.S. District court and accused the U.S. Interior Department and the Bureau of Land Management of refusing for years to recognize “overwhelming evidecent of the cultural significance” of the remote San Pedro Valley to Native American tribes. Among the tribes are the tohono O’odham, Hopi, Zuni and Western Apache

The Associated Press r eported the suit was filed right ater Pattern Energy won approval from the government to move ahead with its SunZia Transmission wind farm in central New Mexico.

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