A California wind farm will become the first in the U. S. to avoid charges if a limited number of eagles are injured or die when they run into the huge turning blades(桨叶), the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday.
The Shiloh IV Wind Project LLC, 60 miles east of San Francisco, will receive a special permit allowing up to five golden eagles to be accidentally killed over five years. Previously, such eagle deaths could potentially draw criminal charges and discourage private investment in wind farms.
Agency Director Daniel Ashe said the permit encourages development of renewable energy while requiring the wind company to take steps to protect eagles from turbines(涡轮机)and power lines. The move will help California reach its goal of producing one-third of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, he said.
Michael Hutchins of the American Bird Conservancy said he believes the five-year permit for the California wind farm is reasonable, but he said the rapid expansion of wind energy has gotten ahead of the science and regulation to protect all types of birds. Too often, he said, wind farms are built in migratory patterns or near wetlands.
Birds on the hunt can become dizzy by what’s on the ground and fly into the blades, Hutchins said.
“Is it really green energy if it’s going to kill hundreds of thousands of birds or bats each year?” he said. “The whole system needs a much harder look.”
Shiloh IV Wind Project is a 102-megawatt wind farm operating since 2012 and made up of 50 turbines in Solano County.
Shiloh is the first to obtain a permit. Marie Strassburger, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s regional migratory bird chief, said that obtaining one requires a lengthy process, and because this is the first of its kind, officials have carefully made conversation plans with the wind company.
“It’s not a quick, efficient process by any means,” Strassburger said.
Federal wildlife officials in California, Nevada and Southern Oregon are working on two more applications for five-year eagle permits and one for 30 years, said Scott Flaherty of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Sacramento. Eagles are not listed as endangered, but they are protected under a federal act.
1.Shiloh IV will be breaking the law if ___________.
A.its turbines injure any birds in California
B.it withdraws its private investment in wind farms
C.its equipment kills over five golden eagles in five years
D.it builds wind farm in migratory patterns or near wetlands
2.Why is California giving Shiloh IV the permit?
A.To encourage green energy
B.To protect big turning blades
C.To prevent criminal activities
D.To support research on eagles
3.What was Hutchins’s attitude to wind farm’s rapid development?
4.When drafting the five-year permit, officials ________.
A.showed great caution
B.reached an agreement quickly
C.wanted to list eagles as endangered
D.had already singed two similar permits