Library from California

California leads nation in wind turbine eagle deaths

The apparent uptick in Californian eagle deaths is cause for significant concern. For more than a decade after 1997, the year of the first records examined by the authors, verifiable eagle mortalities from Californian wind facilities other than Altamont stayed between zero and two annually, with a peak of three eagles confirmed killed in 2002. And then, in 2011, that number more than doubled with six confirmed deaths, and then four more in just the first half of 2012. ...Wyoming's eagle kills have shot up even more dramatically, with all 31 taking pace in the years since 2009 -- 24 in 2010 and 2011 alone.
10 Sep 2013

Ocotillo residents' woes continue as new dust storm, flooding, white sludge flow strikes community

A new dust storm, flooding and more white foam flowed through Ocotillo today, heightening residents' concerns about impacts of Pattern Energy's Ocotillo Express Wind Energy Facility on this desert community. At 4:40 p.m., a storm hit, sending massive amounts of dust into the air, this time coming directly from project access dirt roads created by Pattern Energy.
8 Sep 2013

Residents speak out against solar, wind development

"We feel like we're being pushed out and controlled." The main complaint was that the projects would disturb or destroy desert wildernesses and compromise the rural character of places such as Lucerne Valley - which Lucerne Valley/Johnson Valley Municipal Advisory Council chair Richard Selby called "ground zero" for renewable energy development.
7 Sep 2013

Hiding "Avian Mortality": Where ‘Green' is Red (Altamont Pass)

The Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (APRWA) provides an excellent introduction to this problem. Its environmental impacts have been well publicized, but now the industry wants to replace small older 50- and 100-kilowatt turbines with huge 2.3-megawatt turbines that it claims are safer. This claim is without merit. Industry studies used to promote the plan are deeply flawed and the much larger 2.3 MW turbines will add more than twice the deadly rotor sweep to Altamont, along with much faster blade tip speeds.
4 Sep 2013

California's Smoke Signals: San Francisco's power emergency is a warning about green mandates.

To hit the renewable mandate, utilities are building long transmission lines to deliver power from distant solar and wind projects to population centers. Most large-scale solar plants in California are being built in dry, sunny desert and valley regions. Wind farms are concentrated in the mountains. Both are fire-prone. ... Southern California is "vulnerable to brownouts during heat waves" or "if a wildfire took out a key transmission line."
26 Aug 2013

Massive dust storm strikes Ocotillo

With multiple industrial-scale wind and solar projects proposed to scrape bare agricultural lands in San Diego's East County, the potential to create dust storms is an issue that Supervisors and planners have failed to address to date, blowing off concerns raised by residents. For Pattern Energy, the dust storm is the latest in a string of serious problems at its Ocotillo Express Wind Facility in Imperial Valley since its opening in December 2012.
23 Aug 2013

Conservationists react to eagle biologist's sentencing

Boulevard activist Donna Tisdale, who works with the Protect our Communities Foundation among other local groups, was blunt in her assessment of Bittner's legacy. In an interview with the local publication East County Magazine , which has been following the Bittner story closely, Tisdale blasted Bittner. "Now we know why Bittner was the go-to-guy for the industry. His services, and whatever ethics or integrity he might have once had, were literally 'for sale' to the highest bidder."
16 Aug 2013

Bird expert sentenced for illegal trapping of eagles

"Bittner repeatedly violated the law by capturing and banding birds without federal and state permits, placing unpermitted devices on birds, conducting aerial surveys after authorization was denied, using wild birds in educational programs without a permit, allowing an eagle carcass to be brought across state lines, failing to properly transfer migratory bird carcasses in a timely manner...
14 Aug 2013

Eagle expert Bittner sentenced to probation, ordered to turn over missing data

U.S. Magistrate Judge David H. Bartick sentenced John David Bittner of Julian, president of the Wildlife Research Institute in Ramona,  to three years probation and a $7500 fine.  Bittner pled guilty  to unlawful taking of a Golden Eagle without a permit and failing to file any data reports for a four-year period on birds that he had banded.   The government could have imposed up to a $100,000 fine and a one-year prison sentence, but instead hope to induce Bittner to turn over years of missing data as a condition of probation.
13 Aug 2013

Region’s wind future up in air as Acciona exits

Acciona, which faces a struggling economy at home in Europe, was the first company to attempt a major wind project in the region. And it may also be the last, experts said. Tough permitting processes, high land prices, a delicate coastal ecology and lack of high-voltage power infrastructure all make the Tri-Counties an unlikely home for big wind farms.
2 Aug 2013

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=California&p=11
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