Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More ESA Suits Planned Nearby

Groups sue wind project to protect bats, birds

Eleven citizen and environmental groups in West Virginia and Maryland have filed a 60-day notice about their intent to sue a wind power project.

They say the huge turbines from the NedPower Mount Storm project would kill endangered bats and squirrels near the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area.

The groups also will sue corporate owners Dominion Resources and Shell Wind Energy for violating the Endangered Species Act, according to Judy Rodd, director of Friends of Blackwater Canyon, based in Charleston.

Rodd said wind power companies are ignoring the “huge number of birds and bats that will be killed each year by the project,” including eagles that will be “decapitated as they try to return to their winter homes near Mount Storm Lake.”

Threatened species include the West Virginia northern flying squirrel, Indiana bat and Virginia big-eared bat.

In their 60-day notice, the 11 groups ask NedPower to provide them with a formal Habitat Conservation Plan evaluating and predicting threats to endangered species.

The groups also sent letters expressing their concerns to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the West Virginia Public Service Commission about threats to bald eagles, golden eagles and other migrating birds protected by existing federal legislation.

Full story: WindWatch.org

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