Save Western Maryland filed a federal lawsuit against Constellation Energy Group and their affiliate for violation of the Endangered Species Act, due to Constellation’s intrusive installation and operation of an industrial wind power facility on the ridgetop of Backbone Mountain which will result in the killing, injury and other forms of harm to the endangered Indiana Bat.
The Indiana bat is one of the most imperiled land mammals in the world. Invaluable members of their ecosystems for their insect control capabilities, they are characterized by scientists as a keystone species. Wind turbines pose a grave threat to Indiana bats in terms of collisions and barotrauma – a bloody explosion of the lungs of bats caused by passage through the low pressure zones created by the movement of the huge turbine blades.
The lawsuit is a result of Constellation’s failure to follow the well established procedure to acquire an Incidental Take Permit, which would allow bats to be killed but avoid liability under the Endangered Species Act. Constellation has been aware of the presence of the Indiana bats at the site for years. Indiana bats are known to inhabit numerous caves in the vicinity of the wind plant, including the John Friend Cave near Sang Run.
Save Western Maryland is joined on the complaint by the Maryland Conservation Council, Ajax Eastman and D. Daniel Boone. The plaintiffs are represented by Moylan and Moylan of Baltimore.
[press release, Dec. 22, 2010]