Plan’s effect on bat at issue

Public input sought on Buckeye Wind Project’s possible impact.

According to information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a public meeting is scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. July 12 at the Champaign County Community Center auditorium, 1512 S. U.S. 68.

The wildlife service will accept comments from the public on draft versions of an environmental impact statement and habitat conservation plan through Sept. 27.

The project, which includes two phases, could build more than 100 turbines across sections of Union, Wayne, Urbana, Salem, Rush and Goshen townships.

Representatives from Buckeye were required to apply for a permit with the wildlife service because the endangered Indiana bat lives in the proposed project area. The permit, if approved by the wildlife service, would last 30 years.

The habitation conservation plan would analyze potential damage to the bats during the operation, maintenance and decommissioning associated with the project. It would also include measures to avoid and minimize the impacts on the bat.

The environmental impact study evaluated the possible effects of implementing the habitat conservation plan and granting a permit to Buckeye Wind.

Copies of the documents are also available online at www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/permits/hcp/buckeyewind/index.html.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

Residents can send comments on the draft EIS and HCP until Sept. 27. Written comments can be sent via U.S. mail to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services Field Office, 4625 Morse Road, Suite 104, Columbus, OH. 43230 or email to Everpowerhcp@fws.gov.

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