Fine of $1 million for wind farm bird kills

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

A wind farm energy company has agreed to pay $1 million in fines, restitution and community service because it erected wind generators in Wyoming and didn’t do enough to not kill migratory birds, including 14 golden eagles, according to a report by the E&E news service written by Phil Taylor.

The fine is only part of a plea agreement submitted to the U.S. District Court of Wyoming between Duke Energy Corporation based in North Carolina and the federal Department of Justice’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division. Duke Energy must implement an environmental compliance plan to prevent future bird deaths. The company is also on five years of probation. The company says it will be spending $600,000 per year implementing its compliance plan. Company representatives will also be meeting with representatives of the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to “develop adaptive mitigation measures.”    

The claim by the DOJ was that 163 birds were killed by wind generator blades between 2009 and earlier this year. The wind generators are on private agricultural lands but DOJ contends that Duke Energy was irresponsible in locating the wind generators where they are and hasn’t done enough to mitigate possible bird deaths.

The DOJ used a 1918 law that “protects more than 1,000 migratory bird species” as the basis for its lawsuit. The results of this lawsuit have to be worrying other wind farm operators. Taylor reports that the FWS has 18 active investigations of migratory bird violations and has referred six of them to DOJ.

The natural gas and other non-renewable energy industries have criticized the Obama administration for giving “turbine operators a free pass despite clear violations of bird protection laws—while penalizing the oil and gas industry for violating those same statutes,” Taylor wrote in his report.

Duke Energy has claimed that it took steps to mitigate golden eagle and other bird deaths once it was discovered that eagles were ignoring the dangers of the wind farm blades. Indications are that one thing the company is doing is installing radar equipment that will shut down wind turbines when birds such as eagles are detected as coming into a wind farm site. Additionally, the sites are being made uninviting to birds by also making it uninviting to prey that attracts such birds as hawks and eagles.

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Smooth Wall Grain Bins

Meridian’s SmoothWall bins are the ultimate storage bins, used to handle and store fertilizer, grain, feed and seed, and extend ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form