Wind Project puts bald eagles in danger

Industrial wind not held accountable for violating the Golden and Bald Eagle Protection Act.
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Pioneer Green Energy - What Wildlife?

Pioneer Green Energy seems determined to site industrial wind projects in ecologically sensitive areas with low wind resources. Four projects proposed in three States have one thing in common – rare, threatened or endangered and protected wildlife.   
US Wind Resource Map at 80 meters

Pennsylvania’s North EastTownship, on Lake Erie, is targeted for 50-75 giant wind turbines.   Erie County has the highest number of rare, threatened, and endangered species of any county in Pennsylvania. Many are associated with unique habitats that can be found at Presque Isle and French Creek and are found nowhere else in the state. Also located on the Atlantic migratory bird flyway, this wind project puts all birds, including recently sighted snowy owls, at risk. The high wind resource area in southwestern Minnesota, called Buffalo Ridge, showed a 47% loss of raptors immediately and continuing ten years after turbines started operating. 

In Maryland, Pioneer Green’s Great Bay Wind Center is seeking the nation’s first 30-year bald eagle “take” permit.  The federal permit assures Wall Street investors that they won’t be prosecuted for killing America’s symbol of freedom. While claiming three years of eagle study, no data has been released for public scrutiny. Even so, preliminary federal estimates are that this project could slaughter 20 bald eagles per year directly across the Chesapeake Bay from our nation’s Capitol.  In a telephone conversation last month, Pioneer Green Vice President Adam Cohen revealed that Somerset County was targeted for its access to transmission.  The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuarine system in the contiguous United States, and is at the eastern end of the Atlantic migratory flyway.

In Alabama, Pioneer Green’s Shinbone and Noccalula projects are both situated on scenic ridges that are home to the federally endangered Indiana Bat and Gray Bat.  Bats are attracted to turbines and die both from strikes and barotrauma – blood vessels in their lungs explode from flying too close to the turbines.  Pioneer Green publically promised last fall to release the wildlife data they claim to have gathered for these two projects, but has not been forthcoming.  

Despite scant evidence, the wind industry claims that the super-sized turbines being proposed by Pioneer Green, will work in these low wind areas. What they fail to mention is the increased size of the rotor swept area – the turbine kill-zone for birds. Slaughtering birds and bats in critical habitats and migratory flyways speaks volumes about the character of Pioneer Green.   

The Coalition for Sensible Siting thanks the citizens of Alabama, Maryland and Pennsylvania for alerting us to Pioneer Green's activities. We notice with irony that Pioneer Green Energy's first listed criteria for their wind projects is "Identify smart sites for new projects." 




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