Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Feds Must Study Wind Farm's Harm to Bats

Wind-turbine opponents persuaded the D.C. Circuit that the government issued a permit to an Ohio wind farm without fully considering ways to reduce the deaths of endangered Indiana bats. Ohio-based Union Neighbors United brought the 2013 complaint in Washington, D.C., taking issue with the U.S. government's approval of a permit for the Buckeye Wind Power Project. The Indiana bat has been listed as an endangered species since 1967. Though the species does not hibernate in the general area of that proposed facility in west-central Champaign County, it does migrate through the area during the spring and fall. In its application for an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act, Buckeye Wind LLC estimated that its 100-turbine wind-generation facility, with use of various controls, would injure or kill 5.2 bats per year. Finding that the proposal to lower turbine speeds during certain months met statutory standards, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or FWS, approved Buckeye Wind in 2013 for a five-year limit of 26 bat "takings." A federal judge granted the agency's director and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell summary judgment last year, finding no violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, the National Environmental Policy Act or the Endangered Species Act, otherwise known as the ESA. The March 2015 opinion credits the finding by the FWS "that the minimization and mitigation measures 'fully offset' the impact of the taking of Indiana bats, and thus, it was not necessary to determine if the plan was the 'maximum that can be practically implemented.'" Bu the D.C. Circuit partially reversed the ruling Friday, finding that the FWS failed to consider an economically feasible alternative that would kill fewer bats before issuing the permit...more

Another example of how the ESA has turned into land use bill.  Here's a bunch of land owners who could give a rat's ass about the bat, but they sure don't want that wind farm in their back yard.


Dave Pickel said...

With the widespread death of millions of bats due to the White nose Syndrome, I would hope that even you would be on their side. Are you bound and determined to make sure the entire country is paved over at some point? I don't understand where you are coming from Frank.

Frank DuBois said...

Dave, my comment was about how the ESA is being used as a land use tool rather than a protector of animal/plant life. There's nothing there about pavement. We'll communicate better if you keep your comments on topic.

Dave Pickel said...

Stay on point and address the White Nose Bat Syndrome then Frank.