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Published: Wednesday, 1/29/2014

Wind turbine construction at Camp Perry may be halted


PORT CLINTON - The American Bird Conservancy and the Black Swamp Bird Conservancy believe they have convinced the National Guard to back off its plans to install a wind turbine at Camp Perry.

According to a joint release issued by the two advocacy groups today, the project has been halted. They cited a Jan. 28 letter written by Col. Peter Sartori, director of installations and mission support. In the letter, Mr. Sartori stated the project "will not go forward at this time" because of objections. The letter was addressed to a Washington attorney representing the two groups.

An Ohio National Guard official said he would respond in more detail later today.

The American Bird Conservancy and the Black Swamp Bird Conservancy said they had filed a letter of intent to sue, claiming the project would violate the Endangered Species Act and other federal conservation and environmental laws. They also gathered more than 5,000 signatures on a petition in opposition to the project, which they contend would endanger migratory birds because of its proximity to the western Lake Erie shoreline.

Western Lake Erie is in at least two major North America bird flyways.

Michael Hutchins, national coordinator of the American Bird Conservancy's wind-energy campaign, called the National Guard decision to withdraw "a heartening victory for the environment and for birds."

“We are absolutely elated that the Air National Guard has halted this project, at least temporarily and possibly for good,” Kimberly Kaufman, Black Swamp Bird Observatory executive director, said.

The decision does not prevent the National Guard from rejuvenating the project at a later date.

- Tom Henry

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