Environmental brief ~ CA county approves plan to shut windmills during bird migration

[JURIST] In Friday's environmental law news, Alameda County California supervisors [official website] have approved a plan that would mandate the shutdown of windmills during the winter migratory bird season. The Altamont Pass has over 5,000 windmills and is located along the Pacific Flyway [advocacy website], the main route for the winter migration of birds. According to studies [PDF report ]by the California Energy Commission [official website], about 1000 birds are killed annually at Altamont Pass, more than at any other wind power area in the nation. The plan will shut down 100 to 200 windmills permanently, turn off half of the windmills in November and December, and then turn off the other half in January and February. Environmentalists argue that all the turbines should be turned off for the entire season. The San Francisco Chronicle has more.

In other environmental law news...

  • The British Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution [official website] published a report [PDF text] Thursday that recommended a number of measures to protect the public from pesticides. The recommendations include compulsory 5 meter buffer zones on farms, public notification of crop spraying, obligations on the condition of machinery, and replacing the Pesticides Safety Directorate [official website], which is partly funded by industry, with a separate, independent agency to oversee public safety. The British government hopes to issue a reponse to the report by next summer. The London Times has more.

  • The California Public Utility Commission [official website] voted 4-0 Thursday to approve a three year program [press release] that will offer a variety of electricity saving incentives to businesses and residents. The plan, which is expected to cost $2 billion, includes giving rebates to consumers who buy energy efficient appliances, and providing incentives and design assistance to businesses that build "environmentally friendly" buildings. AP has more.

 

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