By Wendy Osher
Kaheawa Wind Power I, LLC, has proposed a permit amendment to reduce the take of federally protected species at the company’s wind generation facility on Maui.
Kaheawa Wind Power is a subsidiary of First Wind Energy. The company operates the 20-turbine, 30-megawatt windfarm above Maalaea.
The amendment, if approved, would reduce the level of authorized incidental take of the endangered Hawaiian petrel (uau) and the threatened Newell’s shearwater (ao), in the course of operating the windfarm.
Incidental take occurs when operations result in the death or injury to a listed species while carrying out otherwise lawful activities. The permit addresses potential take of the listed species that may result when they collide in-flight with the wind turbines or related infrastructure during operation of the facility.
The requested amendment to permitted take levels is based on the results of monitoring during the first six seasons of operation at the wind farm site.
Officials with the US Fish and Wildlife Service say monitoring has detected two Hawaiian petrel carcasses, but no Newell’s shearwater carcasses. The amended permit would reduce the take of Hawaiian petrels to 30 from the current 40; and Newell’s shearwaters to 8 from 40.
Projected take of the Hawaiian nene goose and the Hawaiian hoary bat (apeapea), would remain unchanged at 60 and 20 respectively.
The public is invited to comment on the proposed amendment, as well as the draft Seabird Mitigation Plan for both the KWP1 and KWPII projects. The documents are open for public review and comment for 30 days.
Before including addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, or other personal identifying information, entire comments (including identifying information) may be made publicly available. Copies of the permit application and associated documents can be found at the following direct link: http://www.fws.gov/pacificislands/.
Comments can be addressed via email to Dawn_Greenlee@fws.gov (include “permit number TE118901-0” in the subject line of the message); via US mail to Loyal Mehrhoff, Project Leader, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, US Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Honolulu HI 96850; in person by calling in advance to Dawn Greenlee, Fish and Wildlife Biologist at (808) 792-9400; or via fax to Loyal Mehroff, Project leader at (808) 792-9580, Attn: Permit number TE118901-0.