The Developer Of This $179 Million Wind Farm Could Go To Prison If A Turbine Kills One Bald Eagle

Note:   The US has stricter laws than Canada to protect Bald Eagles.  Here in Ontario, the MNR has already documented at least one Bald Eagle killed at the Clear Creek turbine facility owned by IPCSuez Energy – President: Mike Crawley (former President of the federal Liberal Party). No penalty, warning or mitigation resulted.

By Robert Johnson, Business Insider

When all other efforts to stop the $179 million wind farm near Red Wing, Minn. failed, opponents said the turbines would be in prime bald eagle nesting territory, and federal officials listened.   According to the Star Tribune, local residents were mainly concerned with the turbines being so close to their homes, stray electrical voltages, and the strobe-like shadows caused by the moving blades — but when they saw the results of a wildlife survey — they realized they held more leverage.

Wildlife officials are saying the developer could face federal criminal prosecution if a single bald eagle or even more rare, golden eagle falls prey to the spinning turbine blades.

“It comes down to whether they want to take on the risk or not,” said Richard Davis, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who has monitored the project for two years. “I do think there is a higher likelihood of a strike in that area than any other wind project I’ve looked at in the state.”

Chuck Burdick, project director for the developer, AWA Goodhue Wind, said the company has been diligent in responding to the concerns raised by both federal and state wildlife officials. It’s done everything possible, he said, to site turbines where they will cause the least harm to flying wildlife, from long-eared bats to loggerhead shrikes to eagles. But all projects entail risks, he said, and the company plans to start construction this fall. “I don’t know that a wind farm has ever been built that didn’t result in some bird or bat mortality,” he said.

The dispute comes amid increasing scrutiny over the millions of birds and bats killed by wind farms every year and many companies are not making the stand Goodhue Wind is.

Xcel Energy pulled out of a North Dakota deal in April amid concern over two endangered birds — the piping clover and the whooping crane — leaving the electricity from that farm sitting unpurchased.

The new voluntary wildlife protection guidelines proposed by the Department of the Interior are being denounced by environmentalists as inadequate and calls for them to become mandatory are gaining volume.

The conflict is particularly pointed in Minnesota where state law requires utilities to derive 25 percent of their energy from wind by 2020.

14 thoughts on “The Developer Of This $179 Million Wind Farm Could Go To Prison If A Turbine Kills One Bald Eagle

  1. My cousin and her husband have a Bald Eagle nesting on their farm, and she is deeply concerned. The mass deployment of turbines around their farm and across the south end of Haldimand would be the end of the resurgence of the Bald Eagle, and may even mean there their complete demise in the area.

    Where are those pin heads at the Sierra Club? Aren’t they suppose to stand up for nature? John Bennett, their leader, wrote a letter to the editor chiding our MPP and local residents for asking for an extension on the Capital Power EBR. I’ve got news for you Mr. Bennett. We got an additional 30 days to a total of 60 days to make comments.

    His pathetic letter for all to see.

    Re: Clock ticking for public comment, July 18

    I want to thank Peter Slaman and Toby Barrett for demonstrating that the concern about wind turbines is about politics not environment or health. They want more time to frighten people.

    The Green Energy Act has got to be the most publicized bill in Ontario history. It is also an historic attempt to bring together action on climate change, modernizing the grid and creating a new green industry.

    To suggest sinister motives in a 30-day comment period is consistent with the political campaign. It’s not consistent with the Conservative record.

    In government Conservatives did not allow any comment period when they cancelled provincial conservation programs and slashed the Ministry of Environment. Maybe if they had we wouldn’t all know about people dying in Walkerton?

    John Bennett Sierra Club Canada

    • Oh here we go again, with that tired old tale of Mike Harris literally pouring the poison into the Walkerton water system.

      Listen up Bennett, you moron:
      Those two drunken, lying, incompetent Goobers, the Koebel bros Stan and Frank, that were in charge of the water system, were being paid in the range of $60,000.00 annually. That, in 2000, was a big chunk of change. At that salary, they were expected to be the last word on the quality of Walkerton’s water. Instead, they falsified reports and covered up vital information. Mike Harris or MOE staff should not have been required or expected to stick their head in the office every day to supervise the Koebels. The government of the day certainly could have improved some of the standards relating to zoning of high intensity farming around wellhead installations, but then again, that may have been a local planning issue.

      So Bennett, put a sock in it until you have something sensible to say, about Industrial Wind Turbines or anything else, for that matter.

      • AH, yes, I remember it well. The local Walkerton veterinarian who was raising a few hundred cattle, which in turn were depositing their excrement within a few feet of the wellhead installations……………but that may have been a “local planning issue”.

      • Sceptical Gord: your are so right about the Walkerton tragedy. Everytime something happens now, in regards to the MOE, that incident gets trotted out. The Liberals have been using that situations for years, even though the brothers were idiots and only looking out for themselves.

      • Liberal Left Environment Wacko’s Mantra:
        ‘Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste’

        2003 Blackout – Brad Duguid – refers to this always
        Walkerton – which was a preventable tragedy.

        And, then – the famous ‘scientific report’
        oh yes – you need a report – then you go lobby government.


  2. The Sierra Club, is all about promoting wind projects. In looking as some information it appears like they have been involved the first time Wind projects came about in the early 1980’s (however, then they didn’t have the “green” slant and all the government money behind the wind projects). Most environmental groups seem to believe the hype about “global warming”, Is it, isn’t it, I don’t know, what I do know is this stuff (wind projects) is snake oil, making people rich, taking away the quality of life for those who live near by; and will eventually cause Bald Eagles and bats to endangered.
    Stop the free ride for wind and you stop the train. Small towns are putting in wind turbines here in US. because “they have a grant” and the salesman said it’ll pay for itself in 6 years. Ha. I’ve got a bridge to sell you if you believe that one!

  3. I have been told that there are about 14 estimated individual bald eagles in Haldimand Norfolk and in recent conversations with the biologists aware of their nesting sites- 2 confirmed nesting platforms (which is likely the one that Grant Church is speaking of). My small acerage has had the priviledge of having a mature eagle (at least 5 years older known due to it’s white plumage on it’s head) and an immature individual using my tree line as a look out roost at times. I am told their territory range can be about 30 km; so these are the same birds I have seen down along the creek shoreline just east of the Cheapside Village on concession 2- smack in the middle of the sited industrial wind turbines sites. I am seeing over 1% of the total population of bald eagles in my part of the county using the tree line of my agricultural fields. Is any of the projected deaths by the IWTs of these raptors justified? They have a high mortality rate already from hatching to maturity and are very slow to reproduce and to replace any individuals in their population.

    So who cares? I do ….and yes I am also very concerned about the human residents (myself and my family included) of Haldimand Norfolk and the impacts of these insane projects on their health. We are one ecosystem either we value the life of all species or we don’t.

    • The good news about the eagle’s nest at my cousin’s place is the 800 m setback it was given. It killed off one proposed turbine. Eight km would be more appropriate. Call the Ministry of Natural Resources and try and get a few more turbines killed off if you have eagles in your area.

      • I have been told by the biologist monitoring the eagles in this area he has notified the MNR about the known nesting sites- one turbine site gone is a start, but keep in mind these birds have a huge territory (about 30 km range for this habitat) needed to hunt to sustain themselves and their offspring. Again it is the cummulative effect on the whole ecosystem that is not being acknowledge- nothing new there – heavy sigh.

  4. I agree with you 100%, Linda. Hopefully with the change of government we can bring some sanity to the MNR and MOE.

  5. In California the windmills have killed 2800 (that are known) Golden Eagles and nothing has ever been done about it.

    ‘It would take 167 pairs of local nesting golden eagles to produce enough young to compensate for their mortality rate related to wind energy production,’ field biologist Doug Bell, manager of East Bay Regional Park District’s wildlife programme, told the Los Angeles Times. ‘We only have 60 pairs,’ he added.

    Why does this story make it sound like Minnesota will be much more strict than California. It is federal law it should apply equally in all states.

  6. Wind Kills. Period.
    In time –
    the province will be peppered with ‘green peaker gas plants”.

    What part do the McGuinty Liberals – not understand?
    McGuinty Liberals robbing Ontario blind.

    The conservatives will have a difficult time cleaning up
    the garbage left behind by the liberals.

    I hope citizens understand who created the energy mess.
    Liberal Garbage!

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