Military could face delay in project because of endangered bats

TWINSBURG, Ohio (AP) - The military is waiting on approval from the state Environmental Protection Agency before it can build a $24 million training center in suburban Cleveland.

The reason? The tiny Indiana bat, an endangered species that considers the trees on the site a prime roosting location.

The U.S. Army Reserve must remove 19 acres of trees from the site to build the center, which would be a base for about 1,000 soldiers.

The trees must be removed by March 15 to accommodate the bats' roosting season. But the Army is still waiting for the OK to fill in some wetlands and create new ones at a nearby park.

If approval doesn't come soon, the project could be delayed for eight months.

An EPA spokesman says the agency will try to expedite the process.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)