Library filed under Impact on Birds from Ohio
The staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board has recommended that the six wind turbines the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo) has proposed building 10 miles offshore operate only during daylight hours for 10 months out of the year while experts determine whether technology designed to detect bird and bat collisions with the turbines is effective. LEEDCo has tried without success to negotiate a compromise. The issue and other issues regarding sophisticated radar systems are now headed into hearings that begin Sept. 24 in Columbus.
This is the first Lake Erie wind turbine project that has been recommended for approval by the OPSB. They have placed some “conditions” on their approval of the project, but if those conditions are met with studies that lack transparency, or are built on flimsy science, or by cherry-picking numbers and portions of studies that push a favorable breeze on this wind farm, we all lose.
The Ohio Power Siting Board has recommended conditional approval of the $126 million Icebreaker six-turbine wind turbine project proposed by the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. 8 to 10 miles northwest of downtown. But the staff has included more than 34 conditions. The six-turbine wind farm is expected to look similar to this offshore wind farm near Block Island in the Atlantic Ocean.
“These little songbirds migrate at night and they can’t see tall structures like this. When you’ve got a 400 foot pole with three massive blades sticking out it would be a gauntlet for these little migrating birds,” said Kim Kaufman of the Observatory.
The OPSB postponed the adjudicatory hearing in response to a request from its staff to suspend the procedural schedule in this case to allow additional time to obtain more information from Icebreaker Windpower on the pre- and post-construction radar technology monitoring protocol selected for use at the project site for determining project impacts.
The recent cancelation of the proposed Camp Perry demonstration windmill was celebrated by the American Bird Conservancy of Virginia, and the Black Swamp Bird Observatory — a local bird research, conservation and education organization headquartered in Oak Harbor.
For the second time since 2014, the Ohio Air National Guard has backed away from its plans to erect a commercial-scale, $1.5 million wind turbine at Camp Perry — a decision that the region’s biggest birding organization hopes will put an end to five years of contentious litigation and send a message to other would-be developers.
The victory sets an especially important precedent because many other wind energy projects are currently being planned around the Great Lakes, which could threaten the future of millions of migratory birds and bats. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has recommended that no turbines be built within 3 miles of the Great Lakes shoreline.
The Black Swamp Bird Observatory and American Bird Conservancy dropped a federal lawsuit Thursday after the Ohio Air National Guard announced it had no plans to build a wind turbine at Camp Perry near Lake Erie.
Birding groups and environmentalists are heralding the state's decision this week to kick back a request to certify construction of a wind turbine project planned for Lake Erie in 2018.
Two leading bird conservation groups, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO), have filed a lawsuit against the Ohio Air National Guard (ANG) over its plans to build and operate a wind turbine at its Camp Perry facility. Located in Port Clinton, Ohio, on the shore of Lake Erie, Camp Perry lies in a major bird migration corridor, close to numerous Bald Eagle nests, and is likely to kill species protected under the Endangered Species Act such as Kirtland's Warbler and Piping Plover. The complaint can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. A portion of the complaint is provided below.
This brief, filed before the Ohio Court of Common Pleas in Franklin County, Ohio, responds to Iberdrola's (Avangrid Renewables) action to stop any public disclose of bird/bat mortality data at its Blue Creek wind facility. Iberdrola has argued that the number of birds and bats killed by its turbines is a “trade secret” protected under Ohio law. The introduction and summary of arguments for why Iberdrola's claims are not supported by Ohio law are provided below. The full brief can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. The original complaint can be found here.
A national birding organization based in suburban Washington is working with northwest Ohio’s Black Swamp Bird Observatory again on a lawsuit to block the Ohio Air National Guard’s plan for a commercial-scale wind turbine along the western Lake Erie shoreline.
Black Swamp Executive Director Kim Kaufman and ABC's Michael Hutchins, director of the conservancy's Bird-Smart Wind Energy Campaign, said they support clean, renewable sources of energy such as wind power. But they maintain that "the Great Lakes are not a good place for large-scale, commercial wind energy projects," particularly in a region designated as a Globally Important Bird Area.
Iberdrola Renewables, has filed a lawsuit in Ohio to prevent two state agencies from making public what it calls “trade secrets.” The legal action comes after an Ohio bird conservation group, Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO), asked to see bird and bat mortality data for Blue Creek.
The legal dispute was generated by an Ottawa County birding organization, the Black Swamp Bird Observatory in Oak Harbor, which contends that bird death data held by both federal and state agencies is public information. Blue Creek Wind Farm LLC, which operates a wind farm in Van Wert and Paulding counties in Ohio and Allen County, Indiana, says releasing its bird and bat kill reports would provide "trade secrets" to its competitors.
Kimberly Kaufman, Black Swamp Bird Observatory executive director, told The Blade she learned about the decision during a recent meeting with Camp Perry leadership. She said her group will once again seek legal help from a national advocacy group, the American Bird Conservancy, to block the project.
Ohio’s wind energy industry is balking at a largely ignored provision of a massive environmental bill overwhelmingly approved in the House this week, arguing it is designed to throw one more wrench into its turbines. ...The language would allow the state Department of Natural Resources to impose additional fees on wind farms based on the killing and injury, or “take,” of wild animals.
American Bird Conservancy and the Black Swamp Bird Observatory sent a letter of intent to sue to the Ohio National Guard, claiming the project violated federal laws protecting the birds ...A letter from the National Guard Bureau to the bird groups’ lawyer said that after receiving the letter of intent, the National Guard withdrew its Finding of No Significant Impact for the site. The letter said the bureau would review its environmental assessment of the project.
The Washington, D.C.-based public interest law firm Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal earlier this month sent a notice of intent to sue the Ohio Air National Guard, challenging the results of an environmental assessment of the project and a subsequent finding of no significant impact (FONSI) released in August that cleared the way for the turbine to be built. The two groups say the Air National Guard skirted federal laws, including the Endangered Species Act, by not properly analyzing the impacts on a host of sensitive avian species.