The Ohio House of Representatives has passed Amended Sub HB 490. This is a large bill, but on page 151 and 152 of the bill was a small provision to enable the Ohio Dept of Natural Resources to regulate wildlife kills at industrial wind facilities. Many species are protected at the federal level but there are many other species that are not. The language in the bill gave ODNR the power to establish State “take permits” for allowable levels of wildlife kill. This would be important for eagles around Lake Erie and Indian Lake and other bats and raptors in our communities. During consideration in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, AWEA lobbyist Dayna Baird and two other wind companies testified against the provisions and requested their removal.
On a related and timely note, we see that one wind developer based in Oregon (and owned by Warren Buffet) has tried to block release of bird and eagle death information from the US Fish and Wildlife Services. The Associated Press was trying to obtain permitted kill data collected under federal “take permit” programs. The AP wanted to know more about the efforts of wind companies to collect the carcasses of the dead animals. USFWS was agreeable to sharing information and so the wind developer has sued them. It is refreshing to see that some in the press are pursuing the truth.
We look forward to following this case and to the eventual dismantling of the argument by wind developers that more “birds” (raptors) are killed by cars and buildings than wind turbines. Again, the timing of this effort by the AP and the wind industry’s efforts to prevent data collection, management and permitting of wildlife kills in Ohio is curious and, we suspect, not a coincidence….