Eagles: A Legal Casualty of Wind Energy

Dec 22, 2013

A Red-Tailed Hawk takes off from an idle turbine blade near Livermore, Ca.
Credit sfgate.com

A new federal rule allows wind farms to obtain 30-year permits allowing the legal killing of bald and golden eagles reported Dan Frosch for the New York Times.  

Conservation groups say the rule gives wind farms too much leeway to operate without sufficient environmental safeguards and does not consider the long-term impact on eagle populations.  The groups also say the United States Fish and Wildlife Service rejected an agreement, endorsed by the wind industry, to limit how many eagles could be killed in a specific area.

Federal wildlife officials defended the rule saying it sought to balance the practical considerations of long-term wind farm projects with the need to keep eagle populations stable.

For its part, the American Wind Energy Association has publicly endorsed the new permitting process, saying that the spirit of many points of common interest had been included, or would be addressed in the near future.

The new law takes effect early next year.