Colorado Birds Receive Protection Against Wind Turbines

The US’ first wind energy legislation to protect birds against wind energy and other renewable energy has been passed. The Bird Protection Act will come into force in January 2015, requiring energy producers to ensure that their facilities protect birds and other wildlife.

The bill – drafted by State Senator David Balmer – referenced a recent study, which stated that in 2012, 573,000 birds were killed by the wind industry. Another study also referenced by the bill estimated that around 1.4 million birds will be killed annually by 2030, based on current unregulated wind industry expansion.

As of early next year, wind energy producers will be required to follow ‘Bird Smart wind energy standards’, which will include the following:

·         An independent pre-construction environmental assessment to be completed that demonstrates that the wind facility is not located in an area of high risk to birds, such as a known migratory flight path, nesting area, or wetlands;

·         Use of construction practices and technology that follow best practices for preventing birds from colliding with the wind energy facility;

·         Appropriate post-construction assessments to monitor bird impacts;

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