Library filed under Impact on Wildlife from Maryland
Starting in 2020 Maryland’s electricity consumers will be paying higher electric bills in order to subsidize two wind projects to be developed off the Ocean City waterfront. Over the lives of these projects the subsidies will total more than $2 billion. Despite this exorbitant cost the projects will deliver no environmental benefits and, most likely, will contribute to global warming. How did this lose-lose situation come about?
Wind turbines could start popping up in Somerset County as early as next year; however, it all depends on how fast developers behind the green project get what's called an eagle-taking permit for the proposed wind farm in Westover.
The PSC approved the construction of the Type III generators based on Fair Wind Power Partners compliance with all state and federal laws ...Several residents voiced concerns that the wind project would just be an extension of the Criterion Wind project, which is the deadliest industrial wind project in North America for bats and birds.
Twenty bald eagles a year could be killed by the spinning blades a company wants to build in Somerset County to harness the power of wind for cheap energy, federal wildlife officials say. That's too much for Delmarva's eagle population to bear, said Sarah Nystrom, the Northeast region's bald and golden eagle coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The proposal is renewing concerns raised by some western Maryland resident about the state's first two wind projects, in particular the towering windmills' proximity to homes and their potential to kill birds and bats, including one listed as endangered in Maryland. Some also worry that construction of this project could clear a large swath of forest and harm the nearby Savage River, one of Maryland's premier trout streams.
A major portion - 75 percent - of the proposed Fourmile Ridge wind project in eastern Garrett County is in the state's designated "sensitive areas" as having rare, threatened and endangered species, according to Jim Torrington, chief of the Garrett County Permits and Inspections Division.
"I cannot imagine that the state of Maryland is proud of the fact that the first commercial wind power project in the state - a short drive from our nation's capital - is the most deadly for birds in the entire country.
"This project is a realization of a worst-case scenario. This is why Save Western Maryland sued over the project in 2010, because of fears that bat mortality could be very high. As things have turned out, bat and other wildlife mortality, especially for birds, is far worse than expected," said Eric Robison, Co-Founder of Save Western Maryland.
Save Western Maryland believes that the HCP is not based on the best available science and is in violation of the Endangered Species Act; that a full environmental impact statement is warranted under the National Environmental Protection Act; and that the draft EA does not adequately analyze alternatives in violation of NEPA.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed that a dead bald eagle found below a small 10-kilowatt wind turbine on Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Rock Hall, Md., was killed by blunt force trauma.
Shelton says Delmarva is seeking approval to move the project to the Chestnut Flats site in Pennsylvania's Blair County, where an agreement has been reached that should prevent litigation over bats.
Maryland's first two wind projects are facing mounting pressure from environmental groups that insist the developers are endangering the Indiana bat, a creature listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). ...Some environmental groups forced Chicago-based developer Invenergy to halt construction on a West Virginia wind farm because it failed to obtain an ITP.
Conservationists filed suit Wednesday to block the start of Maryland's first industrial wind project, contending the turbines built atop the state's highest mountain in Garrett County threaten to harm federally protected rare bats.
Notice of intent to sue was filed in reference to Constellation Green Energy LLC's installation and long-term operation of wind turbines in Garrett County, Maryland. The project will consist of 28 industrial scale wind towers along 8 miles of the ridge of Backbone Mountain. Available evidence demonstrates that the Constellation wind project will almost certainly result in unauthorized takes of Indiana bats and Virginia big-eared bats.
A recent federal court decision has some Western Maryland wind farm critics pushing state and local officials for increased regulation. On Friday, a letter signed by the four members of the District 1 legislative delegation was sent to Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler, seeking a formal opinion on the responsibility of state agencies "as it relates to the protection of the state's endangered species."
A proposed West Virginia wind power project will harm a tiny, endangered bat and its developers should be should be required to obtain permits under the Endangered Species Act, attorneys for two environmental groups argued Wednesday in federal court. The developers admit bats will be killed by the turbines, but refuse to acknowledge the endangered Indiana bat will be among them, plaintiffs attorney Eric Glitzenstein argued in his opening statements.
The 124-turbine wind farm being built by Rockville-based Beech Ridge Energy would put the lives of endangered Indiana bats, and other bat species, in danger, according to the plaintiffs -- The Animal Welfare Institute, Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy and David G. Cowan. Plaintiff's witness Michael Gannon, a bat biologist and professor at Pennsylvania State University, said he is "very much in favor" of wind energy, but remains concerned that this project could have a devastating effect on the Indiana bat.
Saying the Mineral County Commissioners "need more facts" in regard to the ongoing controversy over wind farms, Pamela Dodds and Judy O'Hara of the Allegheny Front Alliance spoke to the officials at length Tuesday in an attempt to debunk several claims being made by proponents of wind energy. "I believe you need some more facts in order to better understand the claims that are being made," Dodds said. "U.S. Wind Force has made sweeping claims that are inaccurate and misleading."
A $1.2 billion, 150-mile power line that would cross Maryland and lay high-voltage cables under the Chesapeake Bay for the first time has been proposed to ease the threat of blackouts on the growing Delmarva Peninsula. But the proposal is generating opposition from environmentalists, landowners and even business interests in mostly rural Dorchester County, who worry that the project could disrupt farming, damage sensitive marshlands and blight the area's growing tourism.
Wind Farm near Keyser is a favorable site for turbines based on wildlife considerations, according to extensive studies conducted by environmental consultants retained by the developer, US WindForce. That was the message from Monday night's meeting of the Community Advisory Panel, delivered by Jennie Henthorn of Henthron Environmental Consultants.