Library filed under Impact on Birds from New York
American Bird Conservancy has major concerns about Apex’s plan to build the Lighthouse Wind energy project in Niagara and Orleans counties. The project proposes to place dozens of industrial wind turbines along the south shore of Lake Ontario, extending 4.5 miles from the shore along a 12-mile stretch of shoreline.
A party to the Article 10 review of the proposed Galloo Island commercial wind project has complained to the siting board that the Department of Environmental Conservation is trying to suppress information about a bald eagle nesting site on the island, including an attempt to slap a gag order on all participants in the proceeding.
Clifford Schneider, a biologist and former Lake Ontario unit leader for the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, submitted this memo to the New York State siting board outlining the process he followed when informing the State of at least one active bald eagle nest within the proposed Galloo Island Wind project site. Until this letter, neither the State nor Apex, the project proponent, reported eagles in the area. Mr. Schneider raises concerns regarding the response to his report of eagles by the applicant, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Department of Environmental Conservation. An excerpt of his memo is provided below. The full memo can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Mr. Burger said building roads and bases for turbines in the area would reduce the amount of available grassland for birds to live and breed. Mrs. Liner said in the letter that grassland birds typically require large fields that allow them to avoid predators in order to breed, adding that several species such as Henslow’s Sparrow and the Northern Harrier prefer having 100 acres available for habitation or more.
This letter by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, was submitted to the State of New York in reference to a pending proposal to build a wind turbine project in the very sensitive land area on and around Galloo Island. The letter can be accessed by clicking on the links included on this page. The letter was submitted by Clifford P. Schneider with an accompanying letter by Mr. Schneider explaining the federal agency's concerns with the project application.
I attended an informational meeting on Jan. 10 sponsored by Apex Clean Energy at the Yates-Carlton Sportsman’s Club in Lyndonville. After their presentation the three Apex spokesmen opened up the floor for questions.
Jefferson County Planning Board member Clifford P. Schneider, a retired wildlife biologist, said in a letter to the PSC that Apex Clean Energy used studies from the first Galloo Island proposal, filed by a different company, to minimize the potential environmental impacts of the project. And he attacked his former agency for altering report results to diminish their importance.
Jefferson County Planning Board member Clifford P. Schneider claimed that Apex Clean Energy failed to address the potential number of birds and bats that could die from colliding with their turbines’ blades and rotors for its proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm. He requested that the developer should conduct a radar study in 2017 to determine that statistic.
According to Brett Ewald, a biologist and naturalist of Lakeshore Nature Tours, Western New York is the top raptor migration flyway in eastern North America. Raptors migrate from the south to the north to breed in the spring.
The group’s report claimed that the Somerset-Yates project would interfere with migratory songbirds and raptors, which “concentrate within six miles of the shoreline during spring and fall of each year.” Also, it would be built “close to breeding habitat for declining grassland birds,” which could be displaced, the conservation group claimed.
The nationwide survey by the ABC listed the vast numbers of migratory songbirds and raptors which rely on this area, as well as the proximity to the breeding habitat for declining grassland birds for why the Lighthouse Wind project is on the list. “(United States Fish and Wildlife Service) has expressed serious concern about this project, warning the developer that this is an area of extremely high avian use,” ABC said regarding the proposed project.
This bald eagle landed in Save Ontario Shores' President John Riggi's front yard in Lyndonville on May 29. The bald eagle is considered to be a "threatened" species by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Pushed by the wind industry to aid investor confidence in wind farm projects, the rule change approved by the U.S. Department of Interior extends the lifespan of what are known as “eagle take permits” from five to 30 years. Permits enable transmission operators, power producers and other industries to accidentally kill a limited number of birds without penalty under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
On the night of Dec. 7, I drove through some very thick fog. As I traveled state Route 190 from Ellenburg to Brainardsville my fog lights illuminated one of the grizzliest scenes I have experienced. I counted 15 bloody, mutilated corpses of snow geese spread out over several miles.
The New York state Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services have expressed deep concerns about putting wind turbines in the migration flyway along and south of the Lake Erie shoreline. Will the Thruway Authority have bird studies done to cover these sites? Will they secure permits to killing golden and bald eagles? Have the people of Western New York lost their rights to present their views?
Based on migratory patterns of birds, the Canadian Wolfe Island wind project is the "worst sited build-out" Mr. Evans said he's seen. He stressed the importance of placing turbines in places where their impact on native species will be minimized.
Alarming bird and bat mortality rates at the Wolfe Island wind farm have an international group calling for a three-year moratorium on wind energy projects on the Upper St. Lawrence River and east end of Lake Ontario. Save The River vice-president Stephanie Weiss said the 86-windmill farm has caused the death of 688 birds and bats, equalling eight per windmill.
An environmental group is calling for a 3-year moratorium on wind farm development along the upper St. Lawrence River, citing potential threats to the region's bird and bat populations.
Save The River is urging local municipalities bordering the Upper St. Lawrence River in the U.S. and Canada to implement a three year moratorium on wind project development. The move was taken after careful review of recent data showing potentially high avian and bat mortality from the first six months of operation of the Wolfe Island Wind project, the only operating wind project in the region.
A recent study of bird and bat mortality at Wolfe Island's 82-turbine wind farm is raising concerns among environmentalists. An interview with Ornithologist Bill Evans explains the concerns.