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Incidental take permit application for the St. Lawrence wind Jefferson County, N Y

Incidental take permit application for the St. Lawrence wind Jefferson County, N Y

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Incidental take permit application for the St. Lawrence wind power project Jefferson County, New York
Incidental take permit application for the St. Lawrence wind power project Jefferson County, New York

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01/11/2013

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Article 11 Incidental Take Permit Application for the St LawrenceWindpower Project, Jefferson County, New York
Permit Applicant:
St. Lawrence Windpower LLCPeter Duprey, Chief Executive OfficerAcciona Energy N.A. Corp.333 West Wacker DriveChicago, IL 60606Contact/Agent: Blayne Gunderman, Environmental Manager
Prepared by:
David Tidhar and David P. YoungWestern EcoSystems Technology, Inc.26 North Main St., Waterbury Vermont 05676and 2003 Central Ave., Cheyenne Wyoming 82001
November 1, 2010
 
Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind
W
estern
E
co
S
ystems
T
echnology, Inc. i November 1, 2010
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.0 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................... 1
 
2.0 PROJECT DESCRIPTION ....................................................................................................... 4
 
2.1 Construction .......................................................................................................................... 4
 
2.2 Transportation System .......................................................................................................... 6
 
2.3 Turbines ................................................................................................................................ 7
 
2.4 Underground Collector System ............................................................................................ 8
 
2.5 Substation and Interconnection ............................................................................................. 9
 
2.6 Overhead Transmission Line ................................................................................................ 9
 
2.7 Operations and Maintenance Facility ................................................................................... 9
 
2.8 Operation and Maintenance .................................................................................................. 9
 
2.9 Decommissioning ............................................................................................................... 10
 
2.10 Decommissioning Process ................................................................................................ 10
 
2.11 Site Restoration Process .................................................................................................... 11
 
2.12 Wetland Mitigation and Storm Water Management ......................................................... 12
 
3.0 SPECIES IMPACTED ........................................................................................................... 13
 
3.1 Species List ......................................................................................................................... 13
 
3.2 Nature and Extent of Taking ............................................................................................... 13
 
3.3 Grassland Birds – Direct Impacts ....................................................................................... 14
 
3.3.1. Determination of Direct Impacts to Grassland Birds at SLW .................................... 17
 
3.4 Grassland Birds – Indirect Impacts ..................................................................................... 26
 
3.4.1 Direct Habitat Loss ...................................................................................................... 26
 
3.4.2 Non-Raptor Bird Displacement ................................................................................... 29
 
3.4.3 Raptor Displacement .................................................................................................... 30
 
3.4.4 Determination of Indirect Impacts on Grassland Birds ............................................... 30
 
4.0 ANALYSIS OF ACTION ON CONTINUED EXISTENCE OF SPECIES .......................... 40
 
4.1 Henslow’s Sparrow ............................................................................................................. 40
 
4.2 Upland Sandpiper ............................................................................................................... 43
 
4.3 Short-Eared Owl ................................................................................................................. 45
 
4.4 Northern Harrier ................................................................................................................. 48
 
5.0 ALTERNATIVE ACTIONS .................................................................................................. 50
 
5.1 No Action ............................................................................................................................ 50
 
5.2 Alternate Size of Project ..................................................................................................... 50
 
5.3 Avoidance Measures ........................................................................................................... 50
 
5.4 Minimization Measures ...................................................................................................... 52
 
5.5 Monitoring Compliance ...................................................................................................... 52
 
6.0 MITIGATION MEASURES .................................................................................................. 53
 
6.1 Scientific Monitoring Studies ............................................................................................. 53
 
6.1.1 Bird Habituation and Avoidance Study ....................................................................... 54
 
6.1.2 Wintering Short-Eared Owl Study ............................................................................... 54
 
6.2 Construction Monitoring..................................................................................................... 54
 
 
Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind
W
estern
E
co
S
ystems
T
echnology, Inc. ii November 1, 2010
6.3 Long-Term On-Site Monitoring ......................................................................................... 55
 
6.4 Net Conservation Benefit .................................................................................................... 55
 
6.4.1 Conservation Easement ................................................................................................ 60
 
6.5 Adaptive Management ........................................................................................................ 61
 
6.6 Funding ............................................................................................................................... 62
 
7.0 REFERENCES ....................................................................................................................... 62
 
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1.1. Species, and their legal status, included in the St. Lawrence Wind Project Article 11Incidental Take Permit. .................................................................................................................... 1
 
Table 2.1. St. Lawrence Wind Project Facility Impacts to Landover .......................................................... 4
 
Table 3.1. Direct and indirect impacts from the St. Lawrence Windpower Project on speciesincluded in this Article 11 Incidental Take Permit. ....................................................................... 14
 
Table 3.2. Potential temporal direct and indirect impacts from the St. Lawrence Windpower Projecton Species included in this Article 11 Incidental Take Permit. ..................................................... 14
 
Table 3.3. Bird fatalities reported from published post-construction monitoring studies conducted atNew York State wind energy facilities. ......................................................................................... 15
 
Table 3.4. Publically available post-construction wind energy wildlife monitoring studies; literaturesearch conducted December 15, 2009. ......................................................................................... 17
 
Table 3.5. Fatalities of short-eared owl, northern harrier and upland sandpiper from 41 publishedpost-construction monitoring studies conducted at US and Canadian wind energy facilities. ...... 18
 
Table 3.6. Comparison of grassland bird pre-construction use estimates derived from Breeding BirdSurvey results from Maple Ridge (Flat Rock), Grassland Bird Survey results from the St.Lawrence Windpower Project, and post-construction fatality data derived from all publishedstudies in New York State. ............................................................................................................. 23
 
Table 3.7. Take levels and projected seasonality of direct impacts at the St. Lawrence WindpowerProject. ........................................................................................................................................... 24
 
Table 3.8. Housing Characteristics, Cape Vincent Town, Jefferson County, New York. .......................... 27
 
Table 3.9. Land cover/land use areas with the potential to provide habitat for target grasslandsensitive bird species at the St. Lawrence Windpower Project. ................................................... 31
 
Table 3.10. Observations and proportion of use of Henslow’s sparrow, upland sandpiper, northernharrier and short-eared owl by landcover type within the St. Lawrence Windpower Project;all survey data. ............................................................................................................................... 39
 
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1.1. Map of the St. Lawrence Windpower Project. ........................................................................... 3
 
Figure 2.1. Landcover map of the St. Lawrence Windpower Project. ......................................................... 5
 
Figure 2.2. Acciona 1.5 MW turbine dimensions schematic. ....................................................................... 8
 

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