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Lowell GMP, ANR reach deal on bat deaths

GMP will also continue to follow its certificate of public good which requires voluntary curtailment of turbine operation during calm or nearly calm summer evenings when bats are out hunting. The agreement gave GMP a permit allowing a handful of bats to be killed at the wind project each year, with the understanding that more bats would be saved through the mitigation funding than lost at the wind project.

LOWELL -- The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and Green Mountain Power have agreed on a plan to minimize the number of endangered bats killed at the Lowell wind project.

The agreement announced Thursday also includes a payment of $18,438 annually to support Vermont's bat colony conservation efforts to battle illnesses that are attacking the bat population.

GMP will also continue to follow its certificate of public good which requires voluntary curtailment of turbine operation during calm or nearly calm summer evenings when bats are out hunting.

The agreement gave GMP a permit allowing a handful of bats to be killed at the wind project each year, with the understanding that more bats would be saved through the mitigation funding than lost at the wind project.

So far, no endangered bats have been killed by turbine blades or from changes in air pressure this year at Kingdom Community Wind, GMP officials stated.

The $18,438 will provide primary funding for the Bat Maternity Colony Technical Assistance Program administered by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, which works to reduce bat mortality from human causes by helping homeowners concerned... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

LOWELL -- The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and Green Mountain Power have agreed on a plan to minimize the number of endangered bats killed at the Lowell wind project.

The agreement announced Thursday also includes a payment of $18,438 annually to support Vermont's bat colony conservation efforts to battle illnesses that are attacking the bat population.

GMP will also continue to follow its certificate of public good which requires voluntary curtailment of turbine operation during calm or nearly calm summer evenings when bats are out hunting.

The agreement gave GMP a permit allowing a handful of bats to be killed at the wind project each year, with the understanding that more bats would be saved through the mitigation funding than lost at the wind project.

So far, no endangered bats have been killed by turbine blades or from changes in air pressure this year at Kingdom Community Wind, GMP officials stated.

The $18,438 will provide primary funding for the Bat Maternity Colony Technical Assistance Program administered by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, which works to reduce bat mortality from human causes by helping homeowners concerned about bats in their houses, according to a joint statement from Fish and Wildlife and GMP.

GMP had a bat taking protocol in its certificate of public good issued in 2011 but since that time some species of bat were added to the endangered species list: the little brown bat and northern long-eared bat. These bat species have been harmed by the white nose syndrome, which kills bats in their winter caves.

Discussions about bat takings at the Lowell wind project have been underway through the summer. ANR sought comment in June and held a hearing on a draft permit for GMP that laid out the details of the agreement that was announced Thursday.

"Although we often hear questions about how to deal with bats in attics or barns, Vermonters regularly tell me that they are concerned about the fate of bats. They ask what can be done to help," said Scott Darling, bat biologist for the Fish & Wildlife Department.

"This program will support our efforts to safely remove unwanted bats and assist the public directly in conserving them."

The voluntary curtailment during summer evenings when bats are hunting is expected to significantly reduce bat deaths based on the experience at other Northeast wind projects.

"All forms of energy development impact wildlife," said Darling. "This one measure that GMP is undertaking has the real possibility to lower the impact on endangered bats."

"GMP is pleased to work cooperatively with the Agency of Natural Resources to help protect the bat population in Vermont," said Dorothy Schnure, GMP spokesperson.


Source: http://caledonianrecord.com...

SEP 20 2013
http://www.windaction.org/posts/38600-lowell-gmp-anr-reach-deal-on-bat-deaths
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