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Thursday, December 5, 2013

eagle killers lose in court

Duke Energy Renewables Inc., a subsidiary of Duke Energy Corp., pled guilty in the deaths of golden eagles and other birds at two wind farms in Wyoming. According to the Justice Department, it is the first criminal conviction under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for unlawful avian takings at wind projects.
Under a plea agreement filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming, subsidiary Duke Energy Renewables Inc. was sentenced to pay fines, restitution and community service totaling $1 million. It also was placed on probation for five years, during which it must implement a plan aimed at preventing bird deaths at the company's four wind projects in the state.
Prosecutors alleged that Duke failed to make all reasonable efforts to build the projects in a way that would avoid the risk of avian deaths by collision with turbine blades, despite prior warnings about this issue from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The plea agreement cited approximately 163 deaths of migratory birds, including golden eagles, other raptors, larks, buntings and other birds at the Campbell Hill and Top of the World wind facilities in Converse County, Wyoming.