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Habitat Conservation Plan for Indiana and Virginia Big-eared Bats
Beech Ridge Wind Energy Project

October 24, 2012

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a notice in the Federal Register on August 24, 2012, to announce the receipt of an application, availability of documents, and request for public comments on the Beech Ridge Wind Energy Habitat Conservation Plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement. The 60-day comment period has now closed. We received a total of 42 comments from individuals, organizations, businesses, governmental agencies, and Tribes. You may access the comments received and out responses in the Responses to Comments volume of our Final Environmental Impact Statement.

News release
Frequently asked questions (pdf)

Archived Documents from the 2012 Public Comment Period

Beech Ridge Energy Permit Application
BRE ITP Application (17 pages, 780 KB PDF)
Application Part E Attachment: Corps of Engineers, WV Department of Environmental Protection, and Greenbrier County permits (89 pages, 12.6 MB PDF)
Application Part E Attachment: WV Public Service Commission 2006 Orders (103 pages, 5.41 MB PDF)
Application Part E Attachment: WV Public Service Commission 2007 Order (60 pages, 3.04 MB PDF)
Application Part E Attachment: WV Public Service Commission 2009 Order (42 pages, 2.10 MB PDF)

Beech Ridge Energy LLC (BRE) is developing a 100-turbine wind energy project on privately-owned land about 20 miles northwest of Lewisburg, West Virginia. The first phase of the project (67 turbines and associated infrastructure) is built and operating pursuant to a court order and stipulation.

Consistent with the court order, BRE has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a 25-year Incidental Take Permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act. The proposed permit would authorize incidental take of endangered Indiana and Virginia big-eared bats resulting from construction of the second phase of the project (33 additional turbines), and from operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of the entire 100-turbine project and associated infrastructure, including transmission lines, buildings, and roads.

In accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, the Service has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed action of issuing a permit to BRE and approving implementation of BRE's habitat conservation plan. The plan describes measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate the impacts of taking Indiana and Virginia big-eared bats.

Other Documents

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Habitat Conservation Plan, and associated documents may be viewed by clicking on the links below.

Federal Register Notice of Availability and Request for Public Comments (2 pages, 197 KB PDF)
Draft Beech Ridge Wind Energy Habitat Conservation Plan (264 pages, 4.81 MB PDF)
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (428 pages; 6.49 MB PDF)

For downloading convenience, individual chapters of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement are also provided below.

Cover Pages, Table of Contents, Acronyms and Abbreviations (18 pages, 146 KB PDF)
Executive Summary (7 pages, 102 KB PDF)
Chapter 1: Project Overview and Background (30 pages, 847 KB PDF)
Chapter 2: Purpose and Need for Federal Action (2 pages, 74 KB PDF)
Chapter 3: Alternatives Analysis (46 pages, 417 KB PDF)
Chapter 4: Affected Environment (74 pages, 3.63 MB PDF)
Chapter 5: Environmental Consequences (208 pages, 1.62 MB PDF)
Chapter 6: Consultation and Coordination (8 pages, 96 KB PDF)
Chapter 7: References (22 pages, 159 KB PDF)

Appendices to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement:

Appendix A: Alternatives Screening Analysis (2 pages, 22 KB PDF)

Appendix B: Avian Protection Plan (47 pages, 2.03 MB PDF)

Appendix C: Acoustical Reports
Acoustical Study for Original Project, May 2006 (33 pages, 4.13 MB PDF)
Acoustical Study for Phase II Expansion Area, July 2011 (46 pages, 2.48 MB PDF)

Appendix D: Vegetation and Animal Lists
Scientific Names of Plants and Animals Referred to in the DEIS (3 pages, 23 KB PDF)
Vertebrate Animals in the Project Area (4 pages, 72 KB PDF)

Appendix E: Avian and General Wildlife Resources Reports
Wildlife Impact Assessment (Michael 1994) (71 pages, 1.98 MB PDF)
Raptor Survey (Lipton and White 1995) (31 pages, 1.13 MB PDF)
Avian Fatal Flaw Analysis (Curry and Kerlinger 2004) (15 pages, 1.68 MB PDF)
Phase I Avian Bird Assessment (Canterbury 2006) (131 pages, 882 KB PDF)
Eagle and Osprey Surveys (Young et al. 2011) (30 pages, 2.01 MB PDF)
Avian Migration Studies for Phase II Expansion Area (Young et al. 2012) (40 pages, 3.30 MB PDF)
Avian and Bat Risk Assessment for Phase II Expansion Area (Young et al 2012) (59 pages, 3.51 MB PDF)

Appendix F: Bat Resources Reports
Bat Mist Net Report for Original Project (BHE Environmental 2005) (27 pages, 1.73 MB PDF)
Bat Risk Assessment for Original Project (BHE Environmental 2006) (46 pages, 24.7 MB PDF)
Bat Mist-netting and Acoustic Report (Young and Gruver 2011) (34 pages, 513 KB PDF)

Appendix G: Visual Resource Reports
Visual Resource Assessment for Original Project (29 pages, 21.1 MB PDF)
Visual Resource Assessment for Phase II Expansion Area (59 pages, 53.5 MB PDF)

Appendix H: Scoping Report and Notifications
Scoping Report (21 pages, 311KB PDF)
Federal Register Notice (4 pages, 66 KB PDF)
Press Release re. Extended Comment Period (2 pages, 71 KB PDF)
Dear Interested Party Letter (1 page, 62 KB PDF)
Mailing List (3 pages, 25 B PDF)
Scoping Comment Form (2 pages, 106 KB PDF)
Powerpoint Presentation (29 pages, 3.25 MB PDF)
Meeting Notes (2 pages, 79 KB PDF)
Pamphlet (2 pages, 325 KB PDF)

Appendix I: West Virginia National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permits
General Storm Water Permit Requirements (22 pages, 1.60 MB PDF)
Storm Water Permit, Phase I (3 pages, 125 KB PDF)
Storm Water Permit Extension (3 pages, 127 KB PDF)
Follow-up Letter re. Storm Water Permit Extension (1 page, 695 KB PDF)
Storm Water Permit Termination Notice, Phase I (7 pages, 2.90 MB PDF)

Appendix J: Additional Bird Information
Comparison of Bird and Bat Mortality at Wind Power Projects in the Eastern and Midwestern United States (2 pages, 18 KB PDF)
Summary of Fall Avian Radar Results for Wind Power Projects in the Northeastern United States (3 pages, 27 KB PDF)

Appendix K: Cultural Resources Information
Phase I Archaeological Survey Report (187 pages, 16.9 MB PDF)
Addendum to Phase I Archaeological Survey (41 pages, 5.21 MB PDF)
Addendum II to Phase I Archaeological Survey (62 pages, 17.1 MB PDF)
Addendum III to Phase I Archaeological Survey (42 pages, 4.52 MB PDF)
Phase I Architectural Investigation Report (286 pages, 8.70 MB PDF)
Memorandum of Agreement for Cultural Resources, Phase I (7 pages, 204 KB PDF)
Phase II Reconnaissance-level Archaeological Report (60 pages, 3.39 MB PDF)
Phase II Reconnaissance-level Architectural Report (261 pages, 27.4 MB PDF)
Assessment of Effects to Architectural Resources for Phase II (95 pages, 12.5 MB PDF)

Appendix L: Modified Stipulation for 2012 Interim Operations and Supporting Documents (41 pages, 7.2 MB PDF)

Appendix M: Breeding Bird Survey Abundance Trends for Species of Concern (1page, 80 KB PDF )

Past Action

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a notice in the Federal Register on July 22, 2010, to announce our intent to prepare a draft EIS and to open a 30-day comment period. We were seeking comments and suggestions on the range of alternatives and the scope of issues to be analyzed in the EIS. As part of this scoping process, we held an open-house public meeting on August 9, 2010, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Community Center in Rupert, WV. In response to public interest and requests to extend the comment period, we reopened and extended the comment period until September 23, 2010. The scoping comment period has now closed. We received a total of approximately 75 comment letters from individuals, organizations, businesses, and governmental agencies. The scoping report and related information are available in Appendix H to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

Background Information

Beech Ridge Facility Layout (PDF)
West Virginia Public Service Commission Siting Certificate for the Beech Ridge Wind Project (PDF)
Titus Memorandum Opinion (PDF)
Titus Order (PDF)
Titus Order re Stipulation (PDF)

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Last updated: April 6, 2015