Developer of Md. wind project urged to do more to protect eagles

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is calling for Pioneer Green Energy to take more steps to lower the estimates to 15 to 17 annually before a proposed wind project in Somerset County, Md., can be allowed to proceed. The agency acknowledged that its estimation of 20 annual bald eagle strikes may be high and the methodology inaccurate. The American Wind Energy Association, however, believes that the agency's estimate, which was based on golden eagle data, is "overly conservative," and questioned her decision to apply another species' statistics as basis for the bald eagle fatality estimate. "It is our understanding that the FWS is currently conducting an independent peer-review of the model, and our expectation is the results, which will be publicly available, will note the flaws in it," said John Anderson, AWEA's director of siting policy.

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