- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Resident fears wind turbine will harm endangered birds

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has made a serious statement about its true nature. It’s not in a press release or on the 6 o’clock news yet, but it was made when they issued permits for the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority to begin construction of the 380-foot-tall industrial wind turbine sited at Conaskonk Point in Union Beach, without either a bat or avian study to base the permits on.

Since the contracts for these studies were awarded in July, and the executive director of the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority (BRSA) has published that the studies will be completed by January, it proves that the huge spring migration up the Eastern Flyway is purposely being taken out of the equation. According to the recently published findings of the Audubon Society, they noted Conaskonk Point as a “significant habitat for shorebirds during the spring migration.” It also counts seven endangered and highly endangered species in the area. Every study is being conducted by self-proclaimed “consultants to the wind industry.” Not a single study has been proffered from an independent source.

The DEP, according to the Endangered and Non-game Species Conservation Act, has a responsibility “That species or subspecies of wildlife indigenous to the State which may be found to be endangered should be accorded special protection in order to maintain and to the extent possible enhance their numbers.” Evidently it is unimportant to find out if endangered species will be impacted in one of the largest nesting and feeding areas on Raritan Bay. I guess that “special” means putting up propeller blades, that span 240 feet, exactly where they fly in flocks.

The wind farm at Altamont Pass in California has, since its construction, killed hundreds of raptors every year. The wind industry and even an environmental group have tried to spin this as an anomaly that has nothing to do with Union Beach. Even decommissioning hasn’t stopped this “anomaly.” But common sense dictates that the reason they haven’t been able to stop the kills is because they blame it on “old equipment” or different towers. The fact of the matter is, they were built where the birds have been programmed to fly over millennia. These are solitary flyers, eagles and hawks, and we do have quite a few here. The part they don’t want to discuss is that we also have huge flocks of smaller birds that come into the bay and Conaskonk Point in particular every year. If the wind turbines can pick off single large raptors in the hundreds, what will it do to flocks of thousands of small migratory birds caught in the same pre-programmed flight way? My common sense tells me that Bob Fischer and the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority are about to violate the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1916.

Bart Sutton Union Beach