Government won't punish wind farm for eagle deaths - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Government won't punish wind farm for eagle deaths

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Protected species of eagles that die at a Solano County, CA, wind farm won't draw a federal fine, part of a deal with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Source: KPIX/CBS) Protected species of eagles that die at a Solano County, CA, wind farm won't draw a federal fine, part of a deal with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Source: KPIX/CBS)

SOLANO COUNTY, CA (KPIX/CBS) - A wind farm that provides power to thousands of homes will be exempt from a law that forbids the killing of federally protected bald and golden eagles.

The Shiloh IV Wind Project near Rio Vista operates 50 giant wind turbines. If one of their rotor blades kills an eagle, the Solano County project will not be penalized.

In two weeks, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to issue a first-ever permit waiving the punishment for up to five golden eagles accidentally killed in five years.

In exchange, the project's owner will pay to retrofit 133 of Pacific Gas and Electric's power poles in Monterey County to reduce the chance of eagles getting electrocuted there.

Both the bald and golden eagle remain protected under federal law, even though their numbers keep them off the threatened list.

The Fish and Wildlife Service said its environmental review concluded the Shiloh Project's permit won't significantly reduce the golden eagle's nationwide population of 30,000.

Copyright 2014 KPIX via CBS. All rights reserved.

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