Air National Guard Put on Notice of Legal Violations for Siting Wind Energy Turbine in High-Risk Location for Eagles and Migratory Birds

Yesterday, on behalf of two leading bird protection organizations – the American Bird Conservancy and the Black Swamp Bird Observatory -- we sent a formal notice of intent to sue to the Air National Guard at Camp Perry in Ohio for rampant violations of the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and National Environmental Policy Act.  Despite repeated requests from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Ohio Division of Natural Resources to avoid siting any wind turbines in this critically sensitive location for federally endangered Kirtland’s warblers and piping plovers, bald eagles, and more than three hundred species of migratory birds, the Air National Guard disregarded the advice and recommendations of the expert wildlife agencies.  Instead, the Air National Guard refused to engage in formal consultation with the Service under the ESA concerning the federally endangered species, and has refused to seek – much less obtain – an eagle take permit or migratory bird take authorization from the Service before constructing and operating the project.  As a federal agency, the Air National Guard’s refusal to comply with governing legal mandates not only sets a bad precedent for other renewable energy projects, but also underscores why an environmental impact statement was required for this project – an analysis which the Air National Guard failed to conduct.  The letter can be viewed here.