Date: September 22, 2012
URGENT: For Immediate Release
Contact: Kimberly Connaughton 301-616-9693
Constellation Energy Files for ITP
In 2010, Save Western Maryland, an Oakland based grassroots community action group, filed a federal lawsuit against Constellation Energy after Constellation Energy released information that their project had identified the presence of the Federally Endangered Species: the Indiana Bat.
The Criterion Industrial Wind Project on Backbone Mountain is in violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), due to the presence of the Indiana Bat and the documented bat mortality within industrial wind projects. Before the case made it to trial, Save Western Maryland agreed to stay the proceedings so that Constellation Energy could apply for an Incidental Take Permit (ITP). An ITP creates an exemption to the ESA where the operators of projects are required to take action to prevent harming endangered species, and in so doing an applicant that obtains an ITP thereby comes into compliance with the ESA so long as the ITP is adhered to during the project’s operational lifespan. Constellation Energy has submitted its application to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for their ITP and the document can be reviewed at: http://www.fws.gov/chesapeakebay/EndSppWeb/Criterion_documents.html
According to a report released by the USFWS in August 2012, the Criterion Power Partners industrial wind project has the “the highest estimated avian fatality rate at a wind project in North America, 16 birds per wind turbine”. This landmark ITP will set an important precedent in the regulation of industrial wind power projects. It will be the first time for the USFWS to approve mitigation measures and a habitat conservation plan in the Northeast, and perhaps the first time anywhere in the continental United States. Representing Save Western Maryland in the submission of comments is the law firm of Meyer, Glitzenstein, and Crystal, whom holds unparalleled expertise in this area.
Save Western Maryland urges concerned citizens to contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with comments regarding the ITP application before the September 30, 2012 deadline.
Comments should be sent to:
Public Comments Processing,
Division of Policy and Directives Management;
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service;
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222;
Arlington, Virginia 22203