Department of Interior sued over eagle kill permits.

The American Bird Conservancy filed suit in federal court over 30-year permits allowing wind energy operations to kill eagles. On June 19, 2014, the American Bird Conservancy filed suit over DOI regulations that allow wind energy companies to obtain permits to kill eagles without prosecution over a 30-year period. From the website:

The previous rule, adopted in 2009, provided for a maximum duration of five years for each permit to kill eagles. According to a statement issued at that time by FWS in the Federal Register, a permit of any longer duration “would be incompatible with the preservation of the Bald or Golden Eagle.” Yet just four years later DOI has increased by six-fold the time during which eagles could be killed, without offering a strong scientific justification for this change. ABC is initiating the legal action in order to have the rule invalidated pending full compliance with federal environmental statutes.

ABC believes wind energy and other renewable energy sources can be encouraged without putting Bald and Golden Eagles at risk. “In the government’s rush to expand wind energy, shortcuts were taken in implementing this rule that should not have been allowed,” said Hutchins.[Dr. Michael Hutchins, National Coordinator of ABC’s Bird Smart Wind Energy Program] “We understand that some bird mortality is inevitable. However, in this case, long-term, cumulative impacts to eagle populations were not properly assessed, and the 30-year take permit rule was adopted in the absence of the required NEPA analysis concerning impacts on eagle populations or any other species that share the eagles’ range.”

Maybe this will put the wind energy program under the same requirements as other industries.

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4 responses to “Department of Interior sued over eagle kill permits.

  1. It will still not be under the same constraints as other industries. Remember the lawsuit, fortunately thrown out by a federal judge, where the feds sued over a settlement pond that ducks landed in?
    “We understand that some bird mortality is inevitable” would not be tolerated for another industry.

  2. This is not the least bit surprising. When the mortality of an ESA species (or T&E) is due to the “inadvertent” adverse impact of a Green Project, the DOJ again looks the other way. Another example of the hipocricy of the Greeniies. If this were included in a standard Biological Assessment or an Ecological Risk Assessment, it would be .cause for FAILURE.

  3. Bald eagles eat mainly fish, so they can be kept away from wind farms simply by permanently draining every body of water that can support fish for a 10 mile radius.
    Golden Eagles dine on small hares, rabbits, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, and such so they can be kept away from wind farms by totally eradicating all small mammals for a 10 mile radius.
    Migratory fowl will still encounter the windmills, though, and vultures will always be able to find the corpses of the birds and bats that will always be able to find the turbine blades.

  4. I am just suspicious enough to think that this was part of the plan.
    The animals do not matter and this could just be one more collusive lawsuit to fund the activist community.

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