WIND & FEDS IN ECO PACT
FWS, Wind Industry Collaborate To Promote Endangered Species Conservation
20 April 2011 (North American Windpower)
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and wind energy companies have signed a memorandum of understanding, pledging to work together to develop a wind energy habitat conservation plan (HCP) for the FWS' Midwest region…[to] conserve threatened and endangered species that may be affected by wind energy facilities in eight Midwestern states.
"A multi-species, regional HCP approved by the FWS would include measures for long-term conservation of federally endangered Indiana bats and members of other protected species that may be incidentally harmed or killed by wind turbines or other activities associated with the construction and operation of wind energy facilities…[in] Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan."
The endangered Indiana bat. The wind industry is moving to protect it. (from Wikipedia - click to enlarge)
[John Anderson, director of siting policy, AWEA:] "It is the industry's expectation that development of the regional HCP will streamline the permitting process, allowing effective conservation of wildlife and easing the [FWS'] administrative burden, while also allowing for more wind energy to be deployed nationally…"
"Under the HCP, wind developers will acquire an incidental take permit, which will exempt otherwise lawful activities (i.e., construction and operation of a wind energy facility) from the prohibition of take [i.e., harming, harassing, or killing endangered or threatened species] under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)…"
The Indiana bat ranges over the states participating in the new HCP. (from Wikipedia - click to enlarge)
"The FWS has awarded [the] states…an ESA grant of approximately $3.3 million to develop a broadly constructed HCP designed to address the potential impacts of wind energy. The wind industry…[will] provide the required 10% matching funding…
"The Conservation Fund, an environmental nonprofit, will lead the strategic conservation work…[W]ind industry applicants…work with the FWS and states to develop the HCP."