Barbour County wind power facility fined for bird deaths

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BELINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - The owner of a wind energy facility has been ordered to pay $30,000 after pleading guilty to two federal charges in the deaths of hundreds of migratory birds in Barbour County.

AES Laurel Mountain LLC was sentenced earlier this month to pay the maximum fine of $15,000 for each of two misdemeanor counts of "unlawful taking" of migratory birds, a crime under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The company pleaded guilty to the misdemeanors last month.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld says 314 migratory birds, mostly blackpoll warblers, died Oct. 2, 2011 at the site in Belington after becoming confused by the facility's lights and crashing into battery containers and wires. The next day, 81 more migratory birds died at the complex.

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