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Wind power generation plant pleads in deaths of hundreds of birds 

Credit:  By Matt Harvey, Assistant Managing Editor | The Exponent Telegram | January 22, 2016 | www.theet.com ~~

CLARKSBURG – Wind power generation plant AES Laurel Mountain LLC has pleaded guilty to two federal misdemeanors in the deaths of hundreds of migratory birds five years ago at its Barbour County facility.

A total of 314 migratory birds, the majority Blackpoll Warblers, died Oct. 2, 2011, at the “undeveloped, wooded and mountainous” site, U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II has alleged.

And a day later, 81 more migratory birds died at the complex, Ihlenfeld alleged.

Giant wind turbines, which look like windmills, are located at the site. But in this instance, the birds, confused by the lighting of the complex, as well as fog and a low cloud ceiling, collided with battery containers and wires, according to Ihlenfeld’s filing.

Causes of death included blunt force impact, lacerations and exhaustion, Ihlenfeld asserted.

The filing contended the company failed in its legal obligation to comply with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by not using “reasonable, prudent and effective measures to avoid or minimize the impact of lighting on migratory birds.”

The company also failed to provide proper training to employees about compliance with the Act, Ihlenfeld alleged.

The company could face a fine of up to $15,000 for each count, incarceration of up to 6 months, or both when sentencing is imposed at a later date by U.S. Magistrate Michael John Aloi.

Source:  By Matt Harvey, Assistant Managing Editor | The Exponent Telegram | January 22, 2016 | www.theet.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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