Articles filed under Impact on Wildlife from West Virginia
Among them are bald and golden eagles. Rest assured, if the mining industry was responsible for killing a significant number of the birds, the fines and penalties would be harsh. But President Barack Obama's favored "alternative energy" industry gets a pass.
The operator of a southern West Virginia wind farm estimates that several dozen endangered bats could be killed by flying into turbine blades during a 25-year period, according to a federal review of the risks to the flying mammals. The estimated death toll comes as Beech Ridge Energy requests a permit under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Beech Ridge Energy is looking for a 25-year permit that would essentially get them off the hook for all the endangered bats that get killed flying into its turbine blades. The project currently has almost 70 turbines in action and has plans to put 30 more in the area.
The PSC dismissed the complaint because the sitting order does not contain material terms and conditions related to noise or flicker and because the agency does not possess the statutory authority to address the issues raised by Braithwaite, according to the commission's final order.
To comply with the terms of a lawsuit settlement, Maryland-based Beech Ridge Energy is seeking a 25-year permit for its wind farm in Greenbrier and Nicholas counties. The existing 67 turbines and another 33 that are planned could harm Virginia big-eared and Indiana bats.
Pending further evaluation, AES has voluntarily ceased nighttime operation of the turbines at the Laurel Mountain facility. The facility has been testing different cut-in speeds to reduce bat mortality. The Indiana bat was found near a turbine that was operating at a cut-in speed of 3.5 meters per second.
Bird kills reinforce the need for "mandatory federal operational standards, as opposed to the optional, voluntary guidelines that are currently under discussion." According to the American Bird Conservancy, the West Virginia bird kill numbers fly in the face of industry assertions that wind turbines kill, on average, two birds per year.
There were three critical circumstances that tragically aligned in each of the three West Virginia events to kill these birds. Each occurred during bird migration season, during low visibility weather conditions, and with the addition of a deadly triggering element - an artificial light source.
Although wind energy production is increasing in the Mountain State, two groups argue that it might ultimately be detrimental. Every energy source has its critics ranging from the oil and gas industry to the wind industry and although these sources have their benefits, there is a downside to the equation.
During question-and-answer and breakout sessions, citizens asked U.S. Forest Service staff to remove any proposed areas for wind energy development from the plan. Currently, the draft would allow applications for wind projects to be submitted on about one-half of the forest.
Sullivan found the agency failed to follow its own recovery plan and based its removal of the squirrel from the list on other criteria. The law requires such decisions to be based on recovery plans, which cannot be revised without public input.
Beech Ridge Energy is seeking an incidental take permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for its Beech Ridge Wind Energy Project in Greenbrier and Nicholas counties. Such permits are required for projects that might harm endangered or threatened wildlife.
Construction of the Beech Ridge wind farm will proceed immediately, following the approval Tuesday by a federal judge of a settlement between the project's developer and environmentalists who sought to derail the Greenbrier County venture. U.S. District Judge Roger Titus approved an agreement between Chicago-based Invenergy Wind LLC and wildlife groups to protect endangered Indiana bats.
A Maryland developer has agreed not to build 24 turbines and will abandon 31 proposed sites at a West Virginia wind farm, settling a lawsuit by environmental groups worried about potential harm to the endangered Indiana bat. Under the deal announced Wednesday, Beech Ridge Energy of Rockville will seek incidental take permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A federal district court judge in Maryland placed a huge roadblock in the path of a planned industrial wind facility in northern Greenbrier County, saying construction of the wind turbines would violate the Endangered Species Act. Judge Roger W. Titus issued an order Tuesday afternoon granting an injunction, which halts the $300 million project in its tracks.
A federal court opinion filed Tuesday in Maryland blocks completion of the planned 119-turbine Beech Ridge Energy wind farm in Greenbrier County, and restricts the operation of the project's 40 already-built turbines to the hibernation period of an endangered bat species. The opinion, written by U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus in Greenbelt, Md., determined that Beech Ridge violated the terms of the Endangered Species Act.
A federal judge is expected to rule on a case that could change the course of a wind farm in Greenbrier County. The Animal Welfare Institute and Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy say the Beech Ridge wind energy project has the potential to harm the endangered Indiana bat and the groups are suing the developer, Invenergy, LLC, to stop the project.
Attorneys for the developers of a West Virginia wind farm questioned all but their last witness in a trial over whether the project will harm an endangered bat. The defense witnesses said Friday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt that netting has not captured any Indiana bats and disputed audio recordings that witnesses for the plaintiffs say show the endangered bats are at the site.
A proposed West Virginia wind power project will harm a tiny, endangered bat and its developers should be should be required to obtain permits under the Endangered Species Act, attorneys for two environmental groups argued Wednesday in federal court. The developers admit bats will be killed by the turbines, but refuse to acknowledge the endangered Indiana bat will be among them, plaintiffs attorney Eric Glitzenstein argued in his opening statements.
The 124-turbine wind farm being built by Rockville-based Beech Ridge Energy would put the lives of endangered Indiana bats, and other bat species, in danger, according to the plaintiffs -- The Animal Welfare Institute, Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy and David G. Cowan. Plaintiff's witness Michael Gannon, a bat biologist and professor at Pennsylvania State University, said he is "very much in favor" of wind energy, but remains concerned that this project could have a devastating effect on the Indiana bat.