Wind farms condemned for the death of more than 150 eagles in the United States

Eight million dollars. This is the sum that ESI Energy was ordered to pay for the death of at least 150 eagles – including bald eagles, the emblem of the United States – in 50 of its 154 wind farms, reports the New York Times.

The American company had pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the Migratory Birds Act, “each based on the documented death of golden eagles due to blunt trauma after being struck by wind turbine blades at particular facilities in Wyoming and New Mexico, where ESI had not applied for the necessary permits ”, the United States Department of Justice said in a statement.

“ESI Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, was also sentenced to five years probation, during which it must put in place an eagle management plan,” completes the New York daily, which adds:

“The company has not taken steps to protect eagles or obtain necessary permits where eagle deaths are documented or foreseeable,” the Justice Department said. By not taking these steps, prosecutors said, ESI ‘gained a competitive advantage’.”

For her part, Rebecca Kujawa, president of NextEra, defended herself: “We have long and rightly been renowned for our commitment to environmental protection and to the implementation, around our facilities, of a positive and even beneficial coexistence with fauna and flora. We have never placed a single wind turbine where we knew an eagle might fly, never have we done anything that violated federal laws.

Scare the birds to prevent them from approaching

the New York Times underlines that the death of birds due to a collision with wind turbines is a phenomenon known and documented by researchers for a good ten years. Several of them are thinking about systems to make this equipment less dangerous for these animals, for example inflatable tubes when one of them gets too close, “or ‘wind dancers’, like the ones you often see at car dealerships, to scare away birds”, describes everyday life.

This case comes as the bald eagle faces a new threat: lead poisoning.

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