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Animal Welfare Institute v. Beech Ridge Energy LLC

675 F. Supp. 2d 540 (2009)

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Animal Welfare Institute v. Beech Ridge Energy LLC

United States District Court for the District of Maryland

675 F. Supp. 2d 540 (2009)

Facts

Beech Ridge Energy LLC and Invenergy Wind LLC (the turbine companies) (defendants) sought to construct and operate a wind-energy project in West Virginia. The Animal Welfare Institute, Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy, and David Cowan (the opposition group) (plaintiffs) opposed the construction of the wind turbines, citing the potential taking of Indiana bats, an endangered species. The range of the Indiana bat included West Virginia. The project consisted of 122 wind turbines covering approximately 400 acres including the transmission line. The opposition group brought an action against the turbine companies, alleging that their project would take endangered bats in violation of § 9 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Expert testimony provided that the Indiana bat flew at altitudes up to one kilometer and would be harmed or killed by wind turbines constructed within its range during periods that the bats were not in hibernation. The opposition group sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Titus, J.)

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