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Wind Turbine Company Fined for Killing Birds

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Ronald Richards
Ingham Country Bar Association Briefs
December 2013

A recent federal case may have a big impact on wind projects in Michigan. Very recently, a large wind turbine company (Duke Energy Renewables Inc.) pleaded guilty in federal court in Wyoming to violating a federal law that protects migratory birds (the Migratory Bird Treaty Act [Bird Act]) in connection with the deaths of over 160 protected birds, including golden eagles, at the company‚Äôs wind projects in Wyoming. It is believed that this case represents the first ever criminal enforcement of the Bird Act for unpermitted bird killings at a wind farm