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In first, Audubon Society sues a California wind project

By Amanda Barlett, SFGate, November 19, 2021

The National Audubon Society is suing Alameda County over its recent approval of a controversial new wind turbine facility at Altamont Pass. It’s been described as a ‘poorly planned project’ that’s a threat to birds and bats in the area due to its lack of sufficient environmental review, according to a press release shared by the organization.

“The National Audubon Society argued the turbines have long been hazardous to migratory avian species such as the golden eagle, whose nesting population at Altamont Pass is the densest in the world, though their numbers have been declining in the region due to incidents related to the turbines, the press release stated.

“ ‘With the approval of this project, the County is putting the Altamont Pass back on pace to kill as many Golden Eagles as it did 15 years ago,’ Glenn Phillips, Executive Director of the Golden Gate Audubon Society, said.

“The project at Mulqueeny Ranch was approved by Alameda County supervisors on Oct. 7, despite an appeal from the National Audubon Society requesting that the Alameda County Board of Supervisors ‘hear its recommendations on how the project could be modified to reduce impacts to the birds.’

“The National Audubon Society also called the wind farm located between Livermore and Tracy a ‘black eye on the entire wind industry since its construction’ and ‘a population sink’ for Golden Eagles.

“It’s the first time the organization has filed a lawsuit in opposition to a wind project in California.”

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