Feds to allow eagle deaths at California wind farm

The federal government is going to allow a limited number of golden eagle injuries and deaths at a California wind farm, the first time such a permit has been granted.

The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will allow up to five eagles to be accidentally killed, harmed or disturbed over the five-year course of the permit at the Shiloh IV Wind Project, operated by EDF Renewable Energy in Solano County, Calif., The Associated Press reported Thursday.

Eagle injuries usually can result in criminal charges, but federal officials have only filed such charges once.

FWS Director Daniel Ashe said the permit balances the benefits of renewable energy against the harms. The wind farm has agreed to take measures to prevent and mitigate bird injuries, AP said.

“We can’t solve the problem of eagle mortality at wind farms overnight,” Ashe said in a statement. “But this commonsense solution merits the support of all who advocate for the long-term conservation of eagles.”

The American Bird Conservancy sued the federal government earlier this month to stop the permit, saying officials did not adequately evaluate the impacts of the permit, AP reported.