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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Inconsistent Enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

At Energy an the Law, Charles Sartain has an interesting post on the mixed enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. He notes that while CITIGO was fined over one million dollars for the death of ten birds in 2012, wind turbine operators now have permits allowing them to kill a certain number of eagles (a reform to the law that followed soon after a notable case where turbine operators were fined for the deaths of golden eagles). And while the deaths and injuries of birds at the hands of wind turbines and solar plants are met with studies, nobody in government has yet said anything about the potential thousands of bats that are killed each year by wind turbines.

Sartain concludes that there is no consistent policy behind current enforcement practices. It will be interesting to see if these practices change as the government's studies on solar and wind energy plants' environmental impacts proceed.

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