Articles filed under Impact on Wildlife from Pennsylvania
Jim Murphy, legal advocacy director at The National Wildlife Federation, says the switch to renewable energy is critical to combat climate change that threatens all life on the planet, but planners should locate onshore wind farms primarily in developed areas such as agricultural land and avoid wilderness that provides habitat for wildlife.
Each of the 24 turbine sites requires about 10 acres of timber-clearing and road construction in sensitive environmental areas where high-quality tributaries and wetlands could be affected, chairman Jason Childs reported. ...Turbines will be nearly 660 feet high.
PENN FOREST TWP., Pa. - Penn Forest Township, Carbon County, Zoning Hearing Board was told Thursday evening by a retired medical doctor the wind turbine project proposed by Iberdrole Renewable would adversely affect the health of those who live near the proposed project.
Workers building 30 wind turbines, access roads and transmission lines on Buck Mountain should protect timber rattlesnakes by doing earthwork between November and the end of March when the snakes hibernate, a state biologist wrote to a developer.
Delving deeper into conservation, H.B. 1576, which sailed through the House Game and Fisheries Committee and is currently tabled, would place the designation of species as threatened or endangered and designation of wild trout streams under the power of an Independent Regulatory Review Committee, and standing committees of the State House of Representatives and Senate with jurisdiction over the Game Commission and the Fish and Boat Commission.
Consider the construction consequences. The pile drivers pounding in the monopoles stands will certainly disrupt the fish and fish migrations. Don't be fooled by the developers who claim wind turbines improve fishing. There is no proof. Lake Erie is already regarded as a world-class trophy fishery for bass and walleye, and we do not need wind developers to make it better.
Developers have pulled the plug on the 60-megawatt Shaffer Mountain Wind Farm project. "Because of a combination of factors, including uncertainty surrounding federal policies, Gamesa has decided to halt development plans for its proposed Shaffer Mountain Wind Farm in Somerset County."
The federally endangered Indiana bat won a significant reprieve recently when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that it would reinitiate consultation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on Gamesa's proposed Shaffer Mountain Wind Project in Bedford and Somerset Counties in Pennsylvania.
The 420 wind turbines now in use across Pennsylvania killed more than 10,000 bats last year -- mostly in the late summer months, according to the state Game Commission. That's an average of 25 bats per turbine per year, and the Nature Conservancy predicts as many as 2,900 turbines will be set up across the state by 2030. This is a bad time to be a bat.
Shelton says Delmarva is seeking approval to move the project to the Chestnut Flats site in Pennsylvania's Blair County, where an agreement has been reached that should prevent litigation over bats.
He mentions a 2009 case in West Virginia where a federal court found that a wind company's hired bat consultants reached a conclusion favorable to the client, but turned out to be inaccurate when the actual data was reviewed. "The PGC cannot verify the work submitted by wind developers and the people of Pennsylvania cannot verify either the developers or the PGC."
But windmills remain controversial as wildlife, including waterfowl game species, fall victim to the spinning blades. Wind farm opponents say ducks and geese are at risk at a proposed off-shore venture in the Lake Erie flyway, which extends from Pennsylvania's Erie coastline through the Pymatuning Lake region. Two state senators have scheduled a public meeting on offshore wind energy for next month.
A proposed wind turbine project atop a nearby ridge has put the Dutch Corner Rural Historic District on a list of 11 at-risk places throughout the state, nonprofit historical preservation organization Preservation Pennsylvania announced recently. ..."It will change what makes that place special."
With the prospect of up to 60,000 more natural gas wells drilled across the western, central and northern parts of the state along with nearly 3,000 new wind turbines over the next 20 years, Pennsylvania's natural environment will suffer unless developers look for ways to minimize the impact of new energy facilities, it says.
A federal agency and Audubon Pennsylvania are among about 40 conservation groups from around the world critical of a wind turbine project that's been approved for Turkey Hill along the Susquehanna River. All the concerns except one revolve around perceived threats 120-foot-long blades on twin turbines would pose to bald eagles, other birds of prey, waterfowl, including tundra swans, and shorebirds that use or migrate through the area.
There are plans moving forward rapidly by PPL Renewable Energy LLC, Allentown, and the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority to construct and operate two gigantic utility-scale wind turbines on top of Turkey Hill in Manor Township. ...Regretfully, there are significant wildlife and environmental problems associated with the proposed Frey Farm Landfill Wind Energy Project. To begin, common sense should dictate that plans are inappropriate to construct two gigantic wind turbines in the middle of such an exceptionally bird-rich location.
White-nose snydrome has the potential to devastate bats, which also are dying from impacts with wind turbines, Whidden said Feb. 25 during a lecture at Penn State Hazleton. Even before the new threats appeared to the nine species of bats regularly seen in Pennsylvania, one of them, the Indiana bat, was on the federal endangered species list, and that state listed the small-footed bat as threatened.
The federal government has concluded that building two wind turbines with 120-foot-long propellers atop Turkey Point does not threaten eagles, other raptors or bats. But some birding groups that missed the opportunity to weigh in on the project when public comment was invited believe the environmental impact assessment is flawed.
The battle over wind turbines continues in Butler Township as opposing sides fight over bats, birds and what constitutes valid testimony. The Butler Township Zoning Hearing Board heard testimony from both sides again Wednesday as residents fought to stop a plan by Broad Mountain Development Co. LLC.
Some of the same conservationists who laud wind power as a cleaner, renewable resource are concerned about the turbine proposals. They fear bats and birds will get caught in the powerful windmill blades or the turbines will scare them away. ''It's not recommended that wind farms be built where there is a large concentration of birds,'' said Rick Wiltraut, a local ornithologist. ''Unfortunately, all that area is prime habitat for neotropical birds.''