Articles filed under Impact on Birds from New York
The New York state Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services have expressed deep concerns about putting wind turbines in the migration flyway along and south of the Lake Erie shoreline. Will the Thruway Authority have bird studies done to cover these sites? Will they secure permits to killing golden and bald eagles? Have the people of Western New York lost their rights to present their views?
Based on migratory patterns of birds, the Canadian Wolfe Island wind project is the "worst sited build-out" Mr. Evans said he's seen. He stressed the importance of placing turbines in places where their impact on native species will be minimized.
Alarming bird and bat mortality rates at the Wolfe Island wind farm have an international group calling for a three-year moratorium on wind energy projects on the Upper St. Lawrence River and east end of Lake Ontario. Save The River vice-president Stephanie Weiss said the 86-windmill farm has caused the death of 688 birds and bats, equalling eight per windmill.
An environmental group is calling for a 3-year moratorium on wind farm development along the upper St. Lawrence River, citing potential threats to the region's bird and bat populations.
Save The River is urging local municipalities bordering the Upper St. Lawrence River in the U.S. and Canada to implement a three year moratorium on wind project development. The move was taken after careful review of recent data showing potentially high avian and bat mortality from the first six months of operation of the Wolfe Island Wind project, the only operating wind project in the region.
A recent study of bird and bat mortality at Wolfe Island's 82-turbine wind farm is raising concerns among environmentalists. An interview with Ornithologist Bill Evans explains the concerns.
Bill Evans wants to make it clear he's not against wind turbines. "I'm not anti-wind. I'm a consultant who people call from both sides when there's a concern about the impact on migrating birds," he said. Evans, 50, is an Ithaca-based ornithologist who has studied bird migration in North America for more than 25 years. He helped start the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology's research into avian night flight calls in the mid-1990s and in 1998 founded the non-profit group Old Bird Inc.
You may not be aware of this but across America each year thousands of birds of prey are killed at wind farms. The public perception of wind turbines is that of slow moving blades turning in the wind on a ridge line. The power and danger of the prop design wind turbine is not well understood. Probably the hardest aspect for the public to grasp is that of "tip speed." The killer of eagles and all birds at wind farms is blade tip speed. This is what kills and this is what the wind industry does not publicize or put in their environmental documents.
Wind energy developers in New York now have guidelines on how to survey potential turbine sites for their impact on birds and bats. Earlier this month, the state Department of Environmental Conservation issued its advice regarding how to minimize damage to bat and bird habitats. "These guidelines set forth DEC's recommendations to commercial wind energy developers on how to characterize bird and bat resources at on-shore wind energy sites and how to estimate and document impacts resulting from the construction and operation of these projects."
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis today announced that the agency has issued guidelines for evaluating the potential impacts of commercial wind energy projects on birds and bats in New York State. "While wind energy has significant environmental benefits when compared to energy produced from fossil fuel, DEC must consider any potential negative environmental impacts of wind energy production when evaluating proposed projects," said Commissioner Grannis.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service has sent a letter to to the developers of three wind farms in upstate New York strongly urging they consider other locations for their proposed projects. Biologists for the agency are concerned that the wind farms will further threaten imperiled bat populations suffering from an unprecedented die-off. One of the wind energy developers, Iberdrola Renewables has decided to hold off on moving forward with the Horse Creek project until the impacts of white nose syndrome on bat populations are better understood. But developers of the other two projects have yet to make similar moves.
Laury A. Zicari, deputy supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said the service sent letters to all three northern Jefferson County wind developers "strongly urging them to look at other places." But, she said, the service isn't near the point of saying the developer couldn't install the project. "Studies are needed to know the impacts," Ms. Zicari said. "We've provided comments on the proposal to date." As part of the state environmental quality review and the federal permitting process, studies are done on the potential impacts of any development. As part of necessary permits, state and federal agencies may add requirements for lessening or paying for those impacts.
There are mornings when I step outside in my Greece housing tract and all is calm and tranquil. But when I arrive at Ontario Beach, the wind is literally howling in off the lake. And that, in a nutshell, is why many birders are uneasy, to say the least, about energy-generating wind turbines. The lakeshore is one of the very best places to look for birds because it is a key migration corridor for everything from geese to hawks to songbirds. But it is also one of the most promising places for wind turbines because of the unobstructed onshore breezes. And so the big question: If turbines are built along the lakeshore, how many of those migrating birds will collide with them and be killed?
Peter Gross of Babcock and Brown presented a request for a permit to put up another meteorological tower in the town of Westfield. According to Gross, after the public meetings about the possibility of wind farms in the Westfield-Ripley area, several families approached him about how they could become involved in the project. "They came to us which started us looking at the possibilities in that area," Gross said. "We won't know for sure until we have the readings from the met tower but we're proceeding with hopeful caution."
Guidelines meant to facilitate wind power development across New York state while minimizing the potential impacts to birds and bats were proposed Thursday by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, DEC. Currently, six wind farms are operating with a rated capacity of 423 megawatts from 263 turbines in Madison, Wyoming, Lewis and Erie counties. ...During the environmental review process, wind energy proposals must include assessments of the impacts the project could have on wildlife - especially birds and bats - and other natural resources. In the past, these assessments have been completed on a case-by-case basis. The draft guidelines suggest that before expending a lot of effort to site a wind energy project, developers should determine whether or not the location is within the habitat of a bird or bat species that is listed as threatened or endangered.
State environmental officials want wind energy developers to pay closer attention to how their projects will affect birds and bats. The Department of Environmental Conservation proposed a set of guidelines to promote wind power and minimize the danger to birds and bats. Developers have been required to analyze how wind projects would affect wildlife before they are allowed to build and the new guidelines will standardize that review.
Before everyone becomes too hyped up about the wind turbines, we need to take a serious look on how they will affect local wildlife. It is no secret that the spinning turbine blades have been responsible for killing birds and bats worldwide. Bats have been especially prone to colliding with the blades - thousands are believed to be killed annually in the U.S., with the majority being threatened species. It is believed by some experts that the wind turbines emit an ultrasonic frequency that confuses bats and predatory birds, possibly even attracting them to the turbines. More recently, bat biologists have reported that the turbines have been placed in migratory paths, further increasing bat kills. Studies have revealed that the deaths in question occurred only when the turbines were in operation.
The Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society is questioning the methods used by Invenergy LLC to conduct bird surveys at the proposed Moresville wind-farm site in Roxbury and Stamford. Invenergy officials say the studies were done correctly. The Audubon Society issued a letter in November expressing support for wind power as an alternative to fossil-fueled and nuclear energy, but added that the 2005 surveys of birds done at the project site are flawed. "Moresville has taken some serious shortcuts in their avian studies," Andy Mason, DOAS conservation chairman, said in a media release. "They carried out radar studies of nocturnal bird migration, but the radar location was 2-1/2 miles away and 1,000 feet lower than the ridge where the wind turbines would be located."
On Monday night, the Hamlin town board voted to extend a moratorium on wind development until June, unless leaders adopt a wind turbine law sooner. Some animal advocates say the town is a migration stop and wind turbines could have deadly consequences for birds and bats. ...Town leaders are requesting extra provisions in Hamlin’s upcoming wind turbine law that would require environmental experts conducting pre- and post- studies to follow protocols endorsed by the Audubon Society, New York state, and the US Department of the Interior.
More consideration and belief need to be given to the vast research that has been done regarding the impact of wind turbines on our environment before decisions are made again that will profit a few and harm many.