- Associated Press - Thursday, December 20, 2018

HUNTSVILLLE, Ala. (AP) - Environmental groups say they’ve reached an agreement with Mazda Toyota Manufacturing to protect an endangered fish near the company’s planned automobile plant in north Alabama.

The Center for Biological Diversity and Tennessee Riverkeeper said Thursday the $6 million agreement will protect endangered spring pygmy sunfish that live in waters near the $1.6 billion factory in Limestone County.

The groups had threatened to sue under the Endangered Species Act.

The Mazda Toyota factory will be built beside Beaverdam Creek west of Huntsville. The waterway is one of only two places where the spring pygmy sunfish lives.

A vice president of the joint manufacturing venture, Mark Brazeal, says in a statement that environmental sustainability and conservation are global priorities for Mazda and Toyota.

The car plant will produce about 300,000 vehicles annually.

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