Migratory Bird Settlement Agreement
In November 2013, Duke Energy Renewables reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding the deaths of golden eagles and other migratory birds at its Top of the World and Campbell Hill wind power projects in Wyoming.
The DOJ brought misdemeanor charges under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) for 14 golden eagle fatalities that occurred over a three-year period. Golden eagles are not listed as threatened or endangered under U.S. law, but are protected under the MBTA. The company agreed to federal fines and restitution of $1 million, which included ongoing mitigation investments and contributions to wildlife conservation groups.
Duke Energy Renewables is working closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a formal eagle conservation plan to supplement its already rigorous avian protection program. The company had comprehensive measures in place prior to the settlement to safeguard wildlife and protect birds, including radar technology, presence of biologists at sites and a turbine curtailment program. Duke Energy Renewables’ goal is to provide the benefits of wind energy in the most environmentally responsible way possible, leading the industry in implementing technologies to minimize avian impacts at its wind sites.