Bats need to get OUT of Ohio before BigWind slices/dices them

The US District Court in Washington, D.C. has ruled in EverPower’s favor on their plan to ‘protect’  endangered species Indiana bats.   The Court found that the US Fish and Wildlife Service was justified in issuing an incidental take permit and that the permit was consistent with the requirements of the law.   Why is this an important case?   Union Neighbors United and the Conservation Law Center at Indiana University were concerned that EverPower will not take the ‘maximum’ protective steps to prevent fatalities prior to proposing mitigating steps like buying land in Preble County for bat habitat.  This interpretation could set a national precedent that threatens all endangered species if applicants for kill permits are not required to take the maximum preventive steps required by the law.   The attorneys at the Conservation Law Center are studying the decision and will recommend next steps.   In the meantime, EverPower spokesman Michael Speerschneider was quoted as saying, ““We still do think the project has a lot of support in the community and we think it will bring a lot of benefits,” Speerschneider said. “We are still working to make it a reality.”    

We think the news coverage was a bit sloppy.   Reports state the Indiana bat does not live in Champaign County but only passes through.   This is not correct especially in view of the documentation of three maternal roost colonies in the project area that were a part of Invenergy’s records but which EverPower destroyed when they acquired Invenergy’s assets.   Bats do live in area but they do not live here year-round.  Irregardless, they play a very important role in Ohio’s agriculture business. The approved preventive plan is complicated and requires running different turbines at different speeds during migration periods.  The fact that EverPower will be monitoring its own compliance remains troublesome as well.  EverPower may be EverPowerful, over bats at least, afterall

A U.S. District Court judge ruled a federal agency was within its rights when it issued a take permit to a proposed Champaign County wind farm that critics said could harm an endangered bat.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued an incidental take permit to the Buckeye Wind Project in 2013, allowing the wind farm to kill a limited number of bats over the life of the project under specific conditions. But Union Neighbors United, a group of area residents, filed a complaint arguing the federal agency did not follow strict enough standards in granting the permit, among other arguments….

 

Take permit ruling favors Buckeye Wind Project | Urbana, OH News | www.daytondailynews.com.

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