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Union Neighbors v. Jewell

ELR Citation: 46 ELR 20133
Nos. 15-5147, (D.C. Cir., 08/05/2016)

The D.C. Circuit held that FWS violated NEPA when it issued an incidental take permit for the Indiana bat, an endangered species, in connection with a wind farm project in Ohio. Because the farm may pose a danger to the bat, the developer applied for an incidental take permit and submitted a conservation plan. The conservation plan provided that the developer would site its turbines away from known Indiana bat habitats, adjust the turbines’ operating times and speeds, and protect additional habitat. FWS then issued the permit. But during its NEPA review, FWS failed to consider an economically feasible alternative that would take fewer bats than the developer's proposal. But the court held that FWS had complied with the ESA.