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Groups may sue over wind turbine near Lake Erie

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 11, 2014 at 10:14 am •  Published: January 11, 2014

PORT CLINTON, Ohio (AP) — A group of birding enthusiasts is threatening to sue the Ohio National Guard over plans to build a wind turbine along Lake Erie because they are concerned it will endanger migrating birds and eagles.

The American Bird Conservancy and Black Swamp Bird Observatory said this past week that they are looking at taking legal action over plans to build the wind turbine at the guard's Camp Perry site near Port Clinton.

The groups say they believe plans for the wind turbine violate several federal laws including the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Port Clinton News-Herald reported.

"There are 60 active bald eagle nests within a 10-mile radius," said Kim Kauffman, director of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory.. "We have a lot of new information that states wind turbines have a significant impact on bald eagles."

Ohio Air National Guard officials have said an assessment found the turbine won't cause significant impact and disputed that the 198-foot tower would be a threat to the eagles and other migrating birds.

"There's a process in place, and we've followed that process," James Sims, a guard spokesman, told The (Toledo) Blade.

Federal funds are covering the cost of the $1.5 million project. The tower could go up by late February.

Camp Perry plans to conduct a study along with Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo to determine what impact the turbine has on birds during its first operating year.

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