Documents filed under Impact on Birds
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 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.
This decision letter issued by the United Kingdom energy secretary reports that the Mynydd y Gwynt wind energy proposal has been denied. Reasons for the denial include the secretary's inability to determine the project's impact on red kites resident at the Elenydd-Mallaen special protection area (SPA). A portion of the decision is provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. The project would have sited 27 turbines of between 3 MW and 3.3 MW each in Powys.
In this very critical decision by the US District Court of Northern District of California (Judge Lucy H. Koh), the 30-year take permits for bald and golden eagles established by the US Fish and Wildlife Service have been set aside and remanded back to the Service. An excerpt of the ruling is provided below. The full ruling can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. The complaint filed by the plaintiffs can also be accessed from this page.
This important paper examines the direct impacts of wind energy development on the mating behavior of the Greater Prairie Chickens. The abstract and conclusions of the paper are provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
American Bird Conservancy (ABC) filed this formal petition with the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) calling for the agency to establish new regulations governing the impacts of wind energy projects on migratory birds. The ABC petition includes substantial revisions to an earlier petition filed by ABC in December 2011 that also called for wind industry regulatory action that would reduce the projected 1.4-2 million bird deaths expected to be caused by the industry when it reaches projected build out levels. The full petition with introductory letter can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. The letter is also provided in full on this page.
This useful paper sheds light on the fact that there is remarkably little information that fully validates methods of determining bird mortality risk at operating wind projects and the success of mitigation approaches. Large wind turbine deployment has been accelerating since 2003 and is rapidly spreading in high-value bird areas. Yet, in nearly 15 years, researchers are still asking key questions and demanding more research. A portion of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service denied Iberdrola's request for an eagle take permit. The rejection letter is provided below and can be accessed by clicking the link on this page. Iberdrola's application was one of the first to seek a 30-year term on the permit. In addition to the FWS letter, you can also view Iberdrola's cover letter submitted with its permit application where the company cites its interest in a long-term permit.
Collisions and electrocutions at power lines are thought to kill large numbers of birds in the United States annually. However, existing estimates of mortality are either speculative (for electrocution) or based on extrapolation of results from one study to all U.S. power lines (for collision). This paper attempts to quantify bird mortality. The abstract is posted below. The full paper can be accessed at the links on this page.
Duke Energy Renewables Inc., a subsidiary of Duke Energy Corp., based in Charlotte, N.C., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Wyoming today to violating the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) in connection with the deaths of protected birds, including golden eagles, at two of the company’s wind projects in Wyoming. This case represents the first ever criminal enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for unpermitted avian takings at wind projects.
This new study by researchers at the Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service identifies the real risk of industrial scale wind turbines to bird life. The paper will be published in December 2013 but portions can be reviewed by clicking the links on this page.