Documents filed under Impact on Birds
The North Texas Heritage Association sent this letter to APEX Clean Energy raising serious concerns over APEX's proposed project, Black Angus, and the threat to whooping crane populations. The Black Angus project and an unrelated wind project abutting it, will obstruct the centerline of the whooping cranes migratory corridor, putting at risk the sparse whooping crane population currently standing at only 505 in the wild. At minimum, the Heritage Association requests that APEX follow federal guidelines to adhere to environmental law, including the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act, as well as follow the procedure for obtaining an incidental take permit (ITP) from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Preferably, the Heritage Association recommends that the project be moved to a less environmentally sensitive location. An excerpt of the letter is provided below. The full report can be downloaded from this page.
Apex Clean Energy and EDF Renewables have each proposed large wind energy facilities to be situated in Clay County, Texas. The project locations fall squarely within the Whooping Crane migratory corridor and are recognized as stop-over habitat for the birds. Wildlife biologist, Jennifer Blair of Blair Wildlife Consulting, prepared this assessment of the likely impacts to Whooping Crane if the projects are constructed. The report also provides a useful summary of the extent to which wind energy development has been allowed to penetrate the limited migration corridor of Whooping Cranes. A short excerpt of the Blair report is provided below. The full report can be downloaded from this page.
The page includes a legal challenge of the Department of Energy’s and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ funding and authorization of the Icebreaker Wind Project, a first-of-its-kind proposed offshore wind energy facility in Lake Erie with a price tag in excess of $40 million that is expressly intended to spur future development of offshore industrial wind energy in the Great Lakes Region and beyond. A portion of the complaint is provided below. The full complaint can be accessed from the document link(s) on this page.
The attached letter written by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds raises their concerns over Hornsea Project Three, an offshore wind project located in the North Sea. New information has arisen indicating that the project will adversely effect the breeding grounds of the gannet, kittiwake, and black-backed gull populations and negatively impact the integrity of the Flamborough and Filey Coast SPA. The Royal Society urges the Secretary of State to extend the deadline for the project's development order to consider this new information and recommends that alternative energy solutions be explored.
This important research examines the methods for quantifying population-level effects of human activity on raptor mortality. The study was conducted on raptors in California. Despite efforts to protect eagles, many lethal agents remain. According to the report, "prominent among them are electrocution, pesticide exposure, wire collisions, vehicular strikes, lead poisoning, and now, wind turbine blade-strikes." The abstract and conclusion of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed at the document links on this page.
Article impact statement: Wind farm effects on birds in upland areas are guild specific and mediated by changes in land use associated with wind farm construction.
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.
Attached to this page are two letters by the American Bird Conservancy sent to EDF Renewables in regard to EDF's proposed Vista Mountain wind project slated for Hamilton and Mills counties in Texas. The letters raise specific concerns with the impact of the turbines on the ecologically-sensitive Texas Hill Country/Cross Timbers Region on the Edwards Plateau. The letters are important in that they inform readers how significant and habitat-rich the Texas landscape is, a fact that repeatedly gets ignored when the wind industry only touts the number of megawatts installed in the State. The full text of the first letter is pasted below. Both letters can be downloaded from this page.
This important paper examines existing literature of recorded bird/bat collisions with wind turbines and relates collision rates to species-level traits and characteristics of the turbines involved.
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.
In this important ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, the court vacated the Secretary of the Interior’s approval of the proposed Steens Mountain wind project which would have sited up to 69 turbines and a 230 kv transmission line in area critical for sage grouse. The order is provided below and can also be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
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.
This important research identified that migrating raptor species tend to be attracted to offshore wind turbines and that the risk of colliding with wind turbines at sea is much greater than previously assumed. The abstract and resulting discussion of the paper are provided below. The full paper can be downloaded by clinking the links on this page.
This important paper examines how golden eagle mortality at the Altamont wind energy site in California may be having a continent-wide impact on the population. The abstract and supporting data for this report can be accessed from this page.
This paper argues that the methods and data used when estimating effects of offshore wind turbines on seabird population rates and the potential impacts on seabird populations are grossly inadequate. As a result, Environmental Impact Assessments cannot solely be relied on to report risks. The conclusions cited in the paper are provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is taking public comment until July 5 (2016) on an eagle-management plan that could weaken protections for eagles, including the issuing of 30-year permits to wind energy and other companies that allow the “take” (or harm) of thousands of eagles. The American Bird Conservancy and other groups and individuals are working to strengthen the draft rules prepared by the FWS—also called the Eagle Take Rule. Under the proposed plan industry would not be required to have mortality data collected by independent, third-party experts; share mortality data with the public; or take critical factors like proper siting of wind turbines into consideration. Attached is the comment letter submitted by ABC of which a portion is posted below.
The European Court of Justice has ruled against Bulgaria in a case brought by the European Commission against the country over its failure to protect unique habitats and important species in the Kaliakra special protection area at the Black Sea coast, the court announced on January 14 2016. Projects such as wind turbines, a golf course, spa and hotels have been approved and built in the area by Bulgarian authorities, despite the likelihood it would lead to significant disturbance of these protected species. As a result, the court has found Bulgaria to be breaching the EU’s Birds and Habitats Directives. A portion of the ruling is below. The full decision can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.