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Error Assessing Windfarm Risk To Eagles 'Will Not Affect Other Plans'

A Mix-up in assessing a windfarm application's potential risk to eagles will not have an effect on other plans, the executive has confirmed.

An environmental statement on the application for a development at Muaitheabhal, on the Western Isles, severely underestimated the likely impact turbines could have on the golden and white-tailed species of the bird. It found that hitting a turbine could kill one adult golden eagle every three to six years and one adult white-tail every eight to 15 years.

But Scottish Natural Heritage, the executive's environmental agency, later claimed that the methodology used in the study, carried out under the terms of the Electricity Act, was flawed and the likely mortality rate was far higher, at one golden eagle lost every three to nine weeks.

SNP MSP Fergus Ewing asked what action the Scottish Executive would be taking as a result of the mistake and whether the approach to other assessments may also have been flawed.

Deputy Enterprise Minister Allan Wilson replied that the debacle showed how thorough the scrutiny of windfarm proposals was. "The error was, I understand, not an error in the methodology but in the way in which it was applied," he said.

"The error has been acknowledged... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

An environmental statement on the application for a development at Muaitheabhal, on the Western Isles, severely underestimated the likely impact turbines could have on the golden and white-tailed species of the bird. It found that hitting a turbine could kill one adult golden eagle every three to six years and one adult white-tail every eight to 15 years.
 
But Scottish Natural Heritage, the executive's environmental agency, later claimed that the methodology used in the study, carried out under the terms of the Electricity Act, was flawed and the likely mortality rate was far higher, at one golden eagle lost every three to nine weeks.
 
SNP MSP Fergus Ewing asked what action the Scottish Executive would be taking as a result of the mistake and whether the approach to other assessments may also have been flawed.
 
Deputy Enterprise Minister Allan Wilson replied that the debacle showed how thorough the scrutiny of windfarm proposals was. "The error was, I understand, not an error in the methodology but in the way in which it was applied," he said.
 
"The error has been acknowledged by the applicant. It has no particular bearing on other proposals. The revised advice from SNH will inform the eventual determination of this application by the Scottish ministers.
 
"The executive conducts a statutory consultation exercise for all Electricity Act consent applications, which seeks the views of SNH, as advisers to the executive on these matters, to help assess the likely impacts of individual developments on wildlife species and their habitats."
 
Mr Ewing also asked how much the assessment cost but Mr Wilson answered that the figure for the exercise, undertaken on behalf of the developer, was not known to the executive.


Source: http://www.pressandjournal....

MAR 2 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1506-error-assessing-windfarm-risk-to-eagles-will-not-affect-other-plans
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