Documents filed under Impact on Birds
Comments submitted to the California Energy Commission regarding proposed guidelines for conducting post-construction bird-bat mortality surveys at wind energy facilities. These comments were submitted by Dan Boone, a wildlife biologist with over 30 years professional experience.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reviewed the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) for PPM's Horse Creek wind facility proposed for the New York towns of Clayton and Orleans, Jefferson County. The project consists of approximately 62 wind turbines (130 MW) with 54 turbines in the Town of Clayton and 8 turbines in the Town of Orleans. The project scope also includes construction of two permanent meteorological (met) towers, an operations and maintenance facility, approximately 16 miles of gravel access roads and approximately 28 miles of buried electric collection lines, and an interconnection substation adjacent to the existing electric transmission line.
This report, authored by the Wind Energy and Bats subcommittee to the Pennsylvania Biological Survey's (PaBS) Mammal Technical Committee, documents the PA Game Commission's direct side-stepping of a long-established memorandum of agreement with the PaBS when the Game Commission developed and finalized the Wind Energy Voluntary Cooperation Agreement without the review or input of the Biological Survey. The memorandum of agreement was created over 10 years ago to help ensure that the Game Commission obtained advice from experts about actions affecting the mammals inhabiting the Commonwealth.
Report of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to Governor Rod Blagojevich and the 95th Illinois General Assembly.
This document includes studies in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.
Environmental Conservation 34 (1): 1-11 © 2007 Foundation for Environmental Conservation, Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK Date submitted: 3 May 2006 Date accepted: 5 December 2006 First published online: 14 February 2007
Why did you petition to become an intervenor in this matter before the NH SEC? With New Hampshire’s recent reinstatement of PILOT agreements and legislative efforts to a Renewable Portfolio Standard, the regulatory groundwork is being laid for more wind facilities to enter the state. Yet, New Hampshire, like many states, has no consistent regulatory process in place for reviewing these projects to ensure our environmental, societal, and economic interests are protected. The work the NH SEC has agreed to undertake in reviewing this application is precedent setting. How the committee approaches its review and the weight it places on arguments presented by all sides will impact other developments in the State as pertains to renewable energy projects. There are a multitude of conflicting issues at play when considering any wind project. My commitment to this process is to help provide, to the best of my ability, valuable and timely information that will assist the Committee in making an informed decision on this application.
As a general comment, the Service appreciates the fact that UPC Wind has conducted radar and acoustic studies on bird and bat migration and bat activity at Hardscrabble Mountain and other locations at or near the proposed project. We believe the radar, visual, and acoustic information contained in the above-referenced reports is useful, but that it is not sufficient to demonstrate, at an appropriate scale, the spatial and temporal uses of the airspace over Granby, Libby, Barrett, and Norris Mountains by birds, bats, and insects.
To reiterate, if the SCC chooses to license this project, we request adherence to the monitoring and mitigation recommendations described in this letter and attachments. In the absence of such conditions, we feel this project would pose an unacceptable risk to the Commonwealth’s wildlife resources.
Below are two Phase I Avian Risk Assessments reports, prepared by Paul Kerlinger, for Vermont's East Haven Wind Farm (July 2003) and New Hampshire's Lempster Mountain Wind Power Project (June 2005). Phase I assessments have proven inadequate in assessing mortality at several sites in the U.S. including Mountaineer in West Virginia and Meyersdale in Pennsylvania. The US Fish and Wildlife Interim Wind/Wildlife Guidelines calls for multi-year evaluation of avian and bat activity using remote sensing.
The attached two documents include the MD Public Service Commision's (PSC) proposed Siting Guidelines for wind energy facilities in MD, and a detailed critique of this draft by Dan Boone, a conservation biologist with nearly 30 years of professional experience involving wildlife biology, forest ecology, and biodiversity protection.
Starting with our first interagency meeting on April 8, 2005, we have generally discussed three broad categories of activities that pose a potential concern for fish and wildlife resources. These include the potential for bird and bat collisions with turbines, habitat fragmentation effects on wildlife and impacts to waters/wetlands. At the April 8, 2005 interagency meeting, we recommended that CEI collect three (3) years of radar data on spring and fall bird/bat migrations to document the spatial and temporal use of the airspace by these flying vertebrates. Three years of radar data should be sufficient to gather information on the spatial and temporal distribution of birds in the airspace, including the year-to-year variability in migration patterns at this site, and represent our normal request for these data at wind projects. We have consistently requested that this data be collected at our meetings and field visits and continue to make this request for radar information.
WV's Congressman Mollohan submitted a letter on July 26, 2006 to the WV Public Service Commission (PSC) concerning the Beech Ridge wind energy project proposed for Greenbrier County, WV by Chicago-based Invenergy, Inc. This wind energy developer successfully pushed through a windplant in Wisconsin nearby the Horicon Marsh - a globally-significant wildlife area and National Wildlife Refuge - despite the widespread outcry by national and local wildlife groups who opposed such close siting. Mollohan's letter points out that Invenergy disregarded recommendations by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for multi-year pre-construction studies regarding the project's potential impacts on migratory birds and bats. He also observed that although WV's one operating wind project in Tucker County has been the site of record-setting bat mortality due to collision with turbine blades, the project operator (FPL Energy) has cut off access to the site for scientific study or investigation, even by the National Research Council/National Academies committee charged by the U.S. Congress to study the environmental impacts of wind projects in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands (see footnote #2 in his letter).
ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED by the Public Service Board of the State of Vermont that: 1. The findings, conclusions and recommendations of the Hearing Officer are hereby adopted, as modified above. 2. The proposed Project will not promote the public good of the State of Vermont, and a certificate of public good shall not be issued pursuant to 30 V.S.A. § 248. Dated at Montpelier, Vermont, this 17th day of July , 2006.
Because time seems to be running out on fossil fuels and the lure of non-polluting windpower is so seductive, some people are now promoting windpower initiatives at any cost, without investigating potential negative consequences-- and with no apparent knowledge of even recent environmental history......Throughout my experience, I could not substantiate a single claim developers made for industrial wind energy, including the one justifying its existence: that massive wind installations would meaningfully reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. When you understand this, you realize the wind business is not really that complex. But there are a lot of complicated issues swirling around it that obscure and distract from this main point, issues such as global warming, property values, the nature of wind leases, local revenues and taxes, wildlife, natural views, and a host of others. So how does one know the truth of it all? How does one go about separating the reality from spin?
This report published by the British Ornithologists’ Union provides an important look at bird migration behavior over water and the potential for collision with offshore wind energy turbines. The authors recommend "abandonment of wind farms in zones with dense migration, turning off turbines on nights predicted to have adverse weather and high migration intensity, and actions to make wind turbines more recognizable to birds, including modification of the illumination to intermittent rather than continuous light, as the most appropriate mitigation measures." An excerpt of the Executive Summary appears below. The full report can be downloaded from this webpage.
Compliments of Andrew Chapman, the attached pdf files contain extensive documentation particularly with respect to the impact of wind turbines on wildlife as part of an ongoing effort to prevent the construction of the Bald Hills Wind Farm, South Gippsland, Victoria. While it has been approved by the Victorian State Government the presence in the Bald Hills area of migratory species of national and international significance that are protected by treaties with Japan and China in the Bald Hills has placed the final decision in the hands of the Federal Government. This decision is pending.
In its submission today, the department will not reiterate all of the matters raised in the 21 October submission, rather the department wishes to focus largely on the matters arising from this proposal affecting Brolga and Southern Bent-wing Bat.
The Service favors: --conservation of wildlife in the public trust; --development of renewable energy that is bird and bat friendly; and --use of informed decisions based on adequate environmental assessment and sound science.
We believe that wildlife kills can be prevented or minimized, and we advocate broad collaboration to achieve this end. However, until reliable solutions are developed, high risk areas should be avoided. These include locations along major migratory corridors or within the normal flight range of large roosting and feeding aggregations of birds or bats.