January 2 (Renewables Now) - The US Department of Interior (DOI) announced it will no longer prosecute oil and gas, wind, and solar power operators whose facilities accidentally kill birds.
According to the new interpretation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), issued in December, accidental deaths of migratory of birds will no longer be considered a breach of the federal law. The MBTA that was first accepted in 1918 regarded it as illegal to “pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill” migratory birds without a permit, while an “incidential take” was not defined in the particular law. Violations were considered as criminal offenses, punishable by imprisonment of no more than six months, a fine of up to USD 15,000 (EUR 12,500), or both.
The Obama administration last January issued a solicitor’s opinion stating that the law in question covers both incidental and intentional takings of migratory birds.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.833)