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USFWS warns Maryland wind farm will kill up to 43 bald eagles per year. Wind developer says, “Nooo. It will only be about 18.”

(The US Fish and Wildlife Service is warning a proposed Maryland wind factory could kill almost 4 dozen bald eagles each year.  Astoundingly, the wind expert casually predicts it won’t be that many.  At the same project, the Navy is protesting about the effects this installation will have on their radar, which again seems to be falling on deaf ears.  WHY is this industry still in existence??  — DQ)

Timothy Wheeler — The Baltimore Sun — April 28, 2013


A wind power project proposed on the lower Eastern Shore that’s struggling to overcome objections from the Navy has a new, airborne worry — bald eagles.

Federal wildlife biologists say the population of the once-rare national bird has grown so much that there are about 400 bald eagles along the mid-Atlantic coast, including 30 nests within 10 miles of the project in Somerset County, and three in the immediate vicinity.

Declaring the area “extremely attractive” to the birds, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has warned the developer of the Great Bay wind project that it “appears to present significant risk to eagles” and urged it to scale back its plans.

The agency estimated that the original plan to put up 60 turbines east of Princess Anne could kill up to 43 eagles a year. The developer’s experts disputed that, projecting deaths of 15 to 18 birds annually, but the agency said even that lower rate would result in more eagle deaths than any other wind project proposed nationwide.

“We can’t stop a project; that’s not really what we’re interested in,” said Sarah Nystrom, eagle coordinator for the wildlife service’s Northeast regional office in Hadley, Mass. “But we will say, ‘Hey, there’s a lot of risk here, and it’s not in your interest to proceed.'”

While no longer facing extinction, eagles still are protected from harm by federal law. Violators face civil penalties of up to $5,000 and one year in jail, and authorities may seek criminal prosecution, with a maximum sentence of two years in prison or fine of $250,000.  To read full article, click here…..


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