Feds OK wildlife plan for WV wind farm - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Feds OK wildlife plan for WV wind farm

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Three crews fight house fire in Shady Spring

    Three crews fight house fire in Shady Spring

    Three crews fight house fire in Shady Spring

    Sunday, April 20 2014 11:16 PM EDT2014-04-21 03:16:45 GMT
    Three fire departments worked to fight a house fire in Shady Spring, Raleigh County Sunday night.The fire started just after 8 p.m. in Country Road Estates.Everyone inside the home was able to make it out unharmed.Ghent, Beaver, and Coal City Fire Departments responded to the scene.Right now - the cause of the fire has not been determined but crews did say there was natural gas inside the home.As of 11 p.m. Sunday, the scene was still not cleared.
    Three fire departments worked to fight a house fire in Shady Spring, Raleigh County Sunday night.The fire started just after 8 p.m. in Country Road Estates.Everyone inside the home was able to make it out unharmed.Ghent, Beaver, and Coal City Fire Departments responded to the scene.Right now - the cause of the fire has not been determined but crews did say there was natural gas inside the home.As of 11 p.m. Sunday, the scene was still not cleared.
  • Several arrested after city-wide drug sweep in Greenbrier County

    Several arrested after city-wide drug sweep in Greenbrier County

    Several arrested after city-wide drug sweep in Greenbrier County

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-04-21 00:10:53 GMT
    Four men are arrested after a city-wide drug sweep in Greenbrier County.On Thursday, April 17 officers with Alderson Police Department along with the Greenbrier County Sheriff's Department and the West Virginia State Police made three felony arrests and one misdemeanor arrest on drug charges.Jeremy Lewis is charged with delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana) , possession with intent to deliver, and conspiracy to commit a felony.Ronald Cook Jr. is charged with two counts of delivery of...
    Four men are arrested after a city-wide drug sweep in Greenbrier County.On Thursday, April 17 officers with Alderson Police Department along with the Greenbrier County Sheriff's Department and the West Virginia State Police made three felony arrests and one misdemeanor arrest on drug charges.Jeremy Lewis is charged with delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana) , possession with intent to deliver, and conspiracy to commit a felony.Ronald Cook Jr. is charged with two counts of delivery of...
  • One man shot early Saturday morning in Beckley

    One man shot early Saturday morning in Beckley

    Sunday, April 20 2014 5:36 PM EDT2014-04-20 21:36:35 GMT
         One man is in custody Saturday after a bar shooting in Raleigh County.
         One man is in custody Saturday after a bar shooting in Raleigh County.
CHARLESTON, WV (AP) -

Federal authorities have approved Beech Ridge Energy's plan to minimize the impact of its southern West Virginia wind farm on endangered bats and other wildlife.

The company's habitat conservation plan includes limiting turbine operations when Indiana bats and Virginia big-eared bats are most active.

Beech Ridge also plans to spend up to $758,000 on two off-site projects designed to protect the endangered bats' populations. One project is aimed at protecting the Indiana bat's hibernating, foraging and swarming habitat, while the other targets hibernating Virginia big-eared bats, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service documents.

A permit issued by the federal agency for the wind farm requires Beech Ridge to implement conservation measures to minimize and mitigate the project's damage to endangered wildlife.

The wind farm in Greenbrier and Nicholas counties is the first wind project in the U.S. to implement a habitat conservation plan for Virginia big-eared bats, the federal agency said in a news release. The project also is among the first to implement such a plan for the Indiana bat.

The permit covers 67 existing turbines and up to 33 additional turbines planned at the wind farm, about 20 miles north of Lewisburg.

Beech Ridge has estimated that 53 Indiana bats and 14 Virginia big-eared bats could be killed by flying into turbines during a 25-year period.

So far, Beach Ridge has not reported finding any dead Indiana or Virginia big-eared bats at the wind farm, the Fish and Wildlife Service said.

The Endangered Species Act makes it illegal to harm or kill federally threatened or endangered wildlife. The law allows the "incidental take," or killing, of endangered bats that collide with turbines.

However, the law requires permit applicants to meet a certain threshold for minimizing damage to endangered wildlife.

The Fish and Wildlife Service said it issued the permit Thursday after determining that Beech Ridge had met the threshold.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.