Portland, ME – NELC’s lawsuits to protect the endangered Atlantic salmon took a critical step toward resolution on May 1, when United States District Court Judge George Singal issued aggressive scheduling orders in all four cases. Under the orders, the parties were required to have all pre-trial motions filed, briefed, and ready for Judge Singal’s review by July 20.

The lawsuits, filed in federal court in Maine in 2011, charge four energy companies with violating the Endangered Species Act at seven hydroelectric dams on the Kennebec and Androscoggin Rivers in central Maine.

The suits allege that migrating salmon are subject to delay, injury and death as they attempt to swim past the dams. The owners of the Kennebec River dams are also charged with violating provisions in their Clean Water Act water quality certificates that are de- signed to protect salmon from having to pass through the dams’ hydroelectric turbines.

Judge Singal’s disposition of the motions now before him is expected to clear the way for trial in some or all of these cases by the end of the year.