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Wind farm violates law, environmental groups say

Three environmental groups said Wednesday afternoon that they have obtained federal government records that show that the proposed site of the Shaffer Mountain Wind Project outside Ogletown is indisputably occupied habitat of the endangered Indiana bat, and that habitat used by the species already has been illegally destroyed.

Three environmental groups said Wednesday afternoon that they have obtained federal government records that show that the proposed site of the Shaffer Mountain Wind Project outside Ogletown is indisputably occupied habitat of the endangered Indiana bat, and that habitat used by the species already has been illegally destroyed.

Sensible Wind Solutions, the Mountain Laurel Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Allegheny Plateau Audubon Society said in a news release that they received the document from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FWS, through the federal Freedom of Information Act.

The news release said that Gamesa, the company planning windmills at the site, has maintained that the site is appropriate for windmills despite its proximity to a major bird and bat migratory route and the capture of juvenile Indiana bats during the summer.

The news release stated that according to the documents it just obtained, the FWS said that in May, Gamesa's consultants sought to downplay that capture, suggesting to the FWS that the juvenile bats were "not actually resident on Shaffer Mountain" although bat experts as well as the FWS believed that the discovery is strong evidence of a nearby maternity... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Three environmental groups said Wednesday afternoon that they have obtained federal government records that show that the proposed site of the Shaffer Mountain Wind Project outside Ogletown is indisputably occupied habitat of the endangered Indiana bat, and that habitat used by the species already has been illegally destroyed.

Sensible Wind Solutions, the Mountain Laurel Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Allegheny Plateau Audubon Society said in a news release that they received the document from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FWS, through the federal Freedom of Information Act.

The news release said that Gamesa, the company planning windmills at the site, has maintained that the site is appropriate for windmills despite its proximity to a major bird and bat migratory route and the capture of juvenile Indiana bats during the summer.

The news release stated that according to the documents it just obtained, the FWS said that in May, Gamesa's consultants sought to downplay that capture, suggesting to the FWS that the juvenile bats were "not actually resident on Shaffer Mountain" although bat experts as well as the FWS believed that the discovery is strong evidence of a nearby maternity colony.

The news release said the documents revealed that in June, adult bats were found roosting and foraging on the site, thus leaving no doubt that the site is occupied by the species.

The news release said that the documents reveal that Gamesa purports to be seeking an Incidental Take Permit from the FWS.

According to the FWS Web site, parties interested in conducting activities that might incidentally harm endangered or threatened wildlife are required to obtain the permit.

The news release also said that in March 2007, Gamesa cut trees at the site although they were told by the FWS that they could do so only if surveys failed to locate any bats at the site.

Gamesa could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.


Source: http://www.tribune-democrat...

OCT 22 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/17602-wind-farm-violates-law-environmental-groups-say
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