Library from California
Wind turbine blades rip through federally protected golden and bald eagles and other raptors, but rather than fine the industry, the Obama administration quietly expanded their permits. Meanwhile, in Alaska, the Interior Department prohibited a remote fishing village from building a gravel road, saying it would affect eelgrass that serves as a way-stop meal for migratory birds.
More than a month after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it had reports of 15 golden eagles killed at wind farms in the area, the agency has retracted that number and said most of the eagle deaths actually occurred elsewhere in California.
The investigators want the halt until the full extent of the deaths can be assessed. Estimates per year now range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.
In 2012, the county reports that turbine blades killed 40. Other years were worse, with as many as 70 killed in a year. And that doesn’t county eagles that may have been wounded, but wandered away couldn’t be found. No matter the numbers, by law this should not be happening
A new study claims that California could power itself entirely with wind, water, solar, and geothermal energy by 2050, ...The catch is that California would need to build miles utility-scale solar power plants and wind turbines covering 3,426 square miles of the state with offshore wind installations covering an additional 1,406 square miles of the Pacific Ocean.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service denied Iberdrola's request for an eagle take permit. The rejection letter is provided below and can be accessed by clicking the link on this page. Iberdrola's application was one of the first to seek a 30-year term on the permit. In addition to the FWS letter, you can also view Iberdrola's cover letter submitted with its permit application where the company cites its interest in a long-term permit.
“Our purpose is to protect the environmental and economic well-being of the High Mojave Desert, and to support a sustainable future, while safeguarding against activities that may harm the High Mojave Desert,” Ravana said in his letter.
Supervisors James Ramos and Robert A. Lovingood submitted a joint letter to the Bureau of Land Management on Thursday strongly opposing the North Peak Wind Project planned for 16.4 square miles of mountain ridges overlooking much of the Victor Valley.
A brochure has been sent to residents of Lucerne Valley and parts of rural Apple Valley looking to gain support against two planned wind farms.
Residents have documented oil leaks at over 40% of all turbines on the project. “We [Department of Toxic Substances Control with the California Environmental Protection Agency ] have directed OWE to remove the contamination containing used oil and handle it as hazardous waste. We also asked OWE for an explanation as to why the oil is being released, and to remove any additional oil as it is discovered.”
After falling for years, California's greenhouse gas emissions rose 1.7 percent in 2012, pushed up by the drought and the closure of the San Onofre nuclear plant in San Diego County. The state has not yet released emissions data for 2013.
A dispute over a Montana wind farm’s potential to harm nearby nesting eagles and other birds should be heard in California, the Montana Supreme Court said Friday, in an opinion that deals a legal setback to the project’s developers.
The East County Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) heard comments on a draft program EIR covering the entire Alameda County segment of the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (APWRA).
The permitting system relies on wind energy companies and other parties to be forthcoming about how many dead birds they find on their property. Critics say that system effectively can encourage companies to infrequently monitor and look the other way. "My question is why should anybody tell the government that they're killing federally protected birds?" Hutchins said in a telephone interview from Washington.
The Obama administration today announced approval of the first-ever permit for a wind farm to legally kill or harm protected eagles under a plan that officials say will have no overall harm on eagle populations. ...Shiloh IV Wind Project LLC a five-year permit to "take" up to five eagles at its 50-turbine wind farm north of San Francisco.
It may well have been embarrassing to PSH to have a Big Ten Green Group as fully committed to the war on Climate Change as the Sierra Club become a hostile intervenor to their project. One might have concluded that there's something to the criticisms of Palen's benefit to the climate not being worth the damage the project may cause.
Heron Bay Homeowners Association won its lawsuit when a judge agreed that San Leandro should have required an environmental review before approving the tall turbine in April 2013. But Halus Power Systems now will put up four 60-foot turbines within the industrial area's height limit, so no special permission or environmental review is required.
Ogin will replace 73 conventional windmills with the shrouded turbines, which have two concentric covers around the blades to make them, in theory, less accessible to approaching birds and bats.
SDG&E filed a lawsuit Dec. 19 in California Superior Court seeking to terminate the power purchase and investment contracts alleging NaturEner did not meet avian protections called for in the contracts. Late last month, it filed an amended complaint alleging NaturEner fraudulently concealed that federal wildlife officials recommend an eagle take permit.
The three-member East County Board of Zoning Adjustments on Thursday delayed voting on permits for the 40-turbine Sand Hill Wind project, citing concerns over "limitations" in the project's bird mortality study, the scenic impact of the turbines and the precedent the project could set for the technological future of the Altamont Wind Resource Area.