Wind energy company fined 30 million for killing 150 eagles

fined for killing eagles

NextEra Energy, a subsidiary ESI Energy, pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act during a Tuesday court appearance in Cheyenne, Wyoming Tuesday. It was charged criminally in the deaths of nine eagles at three of its wind farms in Wyoming and New Mexico.

In response, the company issued a statement saying, “Today, ESI Energy voluntarily entered into an agreement with the Department of Justice related to the accidental fatalities of eagles at certain wind farms owned and/or operated by NextEra Energy Resources and NextEra Energy Partners“

“We disagree with the government’s underlying enforcement policy, which under most circumstances makes building and operating a wind farm into which certain birds may accidentally fly a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act – even when the wind farm was developed and sited in a way that sought to avoid avian wildlife collisions. “

The reality is building any structure, driving any vehicle, or flying any airplane carries with it a possibility that accidental eagle and other bird collisions may occur as a result of that activity.”

NextEra Energy was ordered to pay more than $8-million in fines and restitution after at least 150 eagles were killed over the past decade at its wind farms in eight states.

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