U.S. OKs Bat Safety Measures At Md. Wind Farm

CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is approving changes at a western Maryland wind farm to minimize harm to federally endangered Indiana bats.

The Cumberland Times-News reported in its Tuesday edition that the agency has approved a conservation plan developed by Chicago-based Exelon Corp. for its 28-turbine Criterion project on Backbone Mountain.

The conservation plan is required for obtaining an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act. Without such a permit, it is illegal to harm or kill federally threatened and endangered species.

The measures include modifying operations in the fall to reduce bat collisions and injuries caused by sudden drops in air pressure near spinning turbine blades. The modifications minimize blade rotations at night, when bats are most active.

The project began operating in 2010.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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