Impact on Birds
The existence of the permit applications was revealed by FOIA requests by Oklahoma journalist Louise Red Corn, and shared Thursday in a web-based seminar held by the American Bird Conservancy (ABC). The 102.5-megawatt Shiloh IV Wind project applied for its take permit in March 2012, and the other three projects have applied in the last six months.
The 5,000 windmills that dot the slopes of Northern California's Altamont Pass are drawing fire from environmental groups who say pollution-free power isn't worth the price of killing thousands of birds.
The California Energy Commission voted 3-0 Wednesday to approve voluntary guidelines to help reduce bird and bat deaths at wind turbines.
The guidelines are meant to protect wildlife as the state moves to produce 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2010.
Bird kills by the whirling blades have been the subject of lawsuits and injunctions in recent years.
A petition is calling on the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to push for wind farm developments to be suspended in the UK.
Internet lobby group Proact, which co-ordinates wildlife campaigns, said it has collected 3,248 signatures.
Proact’s David Conlin said the society does not go “far enough” in opposing wind developments.
The RSPB said it will respond to the petition, but added that it deals with farm proposals on a case by case basis.
The Federal Environment Minister, Ian Campbell, has dismissed claims he ignored advice from senior members of his department when he vetoed a windfarm project in Victoria's Gippsland region.
Big plans east of Bend may come down to a small bird, the sage grouse. Central Oregon's first commercial wind farm could be up and running as soon as next year, unless it runs into environmental or other obstacles its backers cannot overcome.
The $220 million project would be built on private land 30 miles east of Bend. However, the project is facing some scrutiny over it's impact on the wildlife habitat.
Cape Wind critics threw up an eleventh-hour roadblock this week, accusing two U.S. government agencies that approved portions of the proposed offshore wind energy project of violating federal laws.
"We put them on notice," said Lisa Linowes, executive director of the Industrial Wind Action Group, which tracks the benefits of wind energy projects.
Her group and eight others filed a 60-day notice of violations with U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
Before Cape Wind can build turbines on the sound, it first must prove to skeptics - and the state - that, among other things, the 417-foot-tall towers won't harm birds.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia sided with conservation groups that claimed the Federal Communications Commission violated government rules by approving communications towers that threaten migratory birds.
The court is requiring the agency to conduct at least the minimal analysis on the environmental effect of cell, radio, television and other towers built in the Gulf Coast region, as the groups requested.
“There is no real dispute that towers ‘may’ have significant environmental impact” to meet a certain threshold, according to the ruling. ...“This is a significant ruling ... because the D.C. Circuit is directing the FCC for the first time to carefully assess the impact of communication towers on birds,” said Stephen Roady, attorney with Earthjustice, a public interest law firm representing the American Bird Conservancy Inc. and Forest Conservation Council.
A lawsuit contending the whirling blades on the hundreds of windmills in the Altamont Pass area are killing birds has been rejected by the First District Court of Appeal.
"Permitting the action to proceed as presented would require the court to make complex and delicate balancing judgments without the benefit of the expertise of the agencies responsible for protecting the trust resources and would threaten redundancy at best and inconsistency at worst," the appellate court decision says.
Could wind farms hasten the local extinction of an endangered vulture in southern Spain?
The head of a famous clan and his supermodel sister have joined a campaign to prevent electricity pylons from damaging a tiny wood that is home to four of Britain's most endangered birds of prey.
In an effort to limit bat and bird kills by windmills, the Pennsylvania Game Commission yesterday suggested a voluntary agreement with wind-farm developers.
The proposal is an “intermediate step” in protecting birds and bats from the whirling blades, said William A. Capouillez, director of the Bureau of Wildlife Habitat Management.
“It’s not quite where we want to be from a regulatory standpoint, but it’s better than what we have now,” he said. “No other state has anything similar.”
The Game Commission is charged with protecting all the state’s wildlife.
The Uinta County Commissioners voted unanimously to deny two conditional use permits that would have allowed an additional 120 wind turbines on Bridger Butte.
Bridger Butte Wind Power and Bridger Butte Wind Power II, being run by Tasco Engineering, wanted to add the turbines in the general area of Bigelow Road, and extending southward from the current project.
SPRINGFIELD - Here's some legislation that's for the birds. Literally.
A scientific review committee monitoring avian death rates in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area has concerns about progress being made to reduce them -- although a report confirming those concerns likely will not be out until next month.
Alameda County's Scientific Review Committee -- a five-member panel that advises the county on progress being made to mitigate bird deaths in the Altamont Pass windmill area -- concluded late last year measures taken by wind companies in the area have not done enough to reach a 50-percent reduction in raptor deaths by November 2009. ..."It's alarming to hear they're not going to make the proposed reduction," said Elizabeth Murdock, executive director of the Golden Gate Audubon Society, a plaintiff in the 2006 lawsuit that led to the settlement. "They're saying they've made a zero to negligible reduction in the mortality rate out there."
Is the pursuit of fewer dropped calls leading to more dropping birds?
The lights atop communications towers that warn pilots to stay away can have a come-hither effect on birds - killing millions of migrating warblers, thrushes and other species every year.
During bad weather, birds can mistake tower lights for the stars they use to navigate. They will circle a tower trancelike, often until they crash into the structure, its guy wires or other birds. Sometimes disoriented birds simply plummet to the ground from exhaustion.
Victorian Nationals leader Peter Ryan says the approval of the Bald Hills wind farm in South Gippsland has divided the community.
Federal Environment Minister Ian Campbell has changed his previous decision to block the project.
Senator Campbell originally withdrew approval for the wind farm, saying it could threaten the orange-bellied parrot.
Mr Ryan says Bald Hills is an inappropriate location and it is up to the State Government to create a better planning scheme for wind farms.
The federal government has charged PacifiCorp and Exxon Mobil Corp. in two unrelated cases with killing scores of migratory birds in Wyoming, according to court documents filed last week in U.S. District Court in Cheyenne.
PacifiCorp, which does business in Wyoming as Rocky Mountain Power, is charged in a 34-count criminal information document with the deaths of 38 golden eagles at power poles in six counties from December 2007 to February 2009.
In a decision swiftly condemned by conservationists and wildlife advocates, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said operators of Terra-Gen Power's wind farm in the Tehachapi Mountains will not be prosecuted if their turbines accidentally kill a condor during the expected 30-year life span of the project.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grants exceptions to a wind farm and a building project in harassing or killing the endangered birds.