Bird Fatalities

News & Analysis as of

Migratory Bird Treaty Act: Question Of Unintentional “Take” Primed For Potential Fifth Circuit En Banc Or Supreme Court Review

Recently, industry won a major legal victory regarding liability—or lack thereof—for unintentional and indirect bird deaths under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). Unfortunately, that victory could be short lived,...more

Fifth Circuit Reverses Citgo Convictions Under Clean Air Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in United States v. CITGO Petroleum Corp., No. 14-40128 (5th Cir. September 4, 2015), reversed the district court’s convictions of Citgo Petroleum Corp. (Citgo) for alleged...more

Citgo Prevails Over EPA at the Fifth Circuit

USA v. Citgo Petroleum highlights the excruciating degree of detail in federal regulations and the gymnastics the EPA will employ justify a prosecution. The Fifth Circuit has reversed Citgo Petroleum’s conviction for...more

Corporate Wrongdoing: More Civil and Criminal Liability for Individuals?

The US Department of Justice has issued a memorandum to all of its prosecuting Divisions, directing changes to the principles applied by DOJ in prosecuting civilly or criminally individuals who engage in corporate misconduct....more

Liability for Unintentional Bird Deaths Still Up in the Air

The recent Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that unintentional bird deaths under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (“MBTA”) are not “takes” under the MBTA and therefore not subject to criminal liability, adds fodder to the...more

Where You Operate Matters: the Fifth Circuit Widens the Split on MBTA Liability

Last week the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling that reduces uncertainty regarding criminal liability for taking migratory birds. In particular, the ruling alleviates potential liability for facilities where interactions with...more

Birds of a Feather: The 5th Circuit Joins the 8th and 9th Circuits’ Narrow View of the MBTA’s Take Prohibition

On September 4, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held in United States v. CITGO Petroleum Co. that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act’s take prohibition does not include the unintentional take of migratory...more

Fifth Circuit Spurns Second and Tenth Circuits, Sides with Eighth and Ninth Circuits on Interpretation of MBTA “Take” Prohibition

Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), it is unlawful to “pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, attempt to take, capture, or kill . . . any migratory bird” protected by the Act. 16 U.S.C. 703(a) & 704(a). In a recent...more

Migratory Bird Treaty Act Narrowly Interpreted: the Fifth Circuit Joins the Eighth and Ninth Circuits

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court decision holding CITGO liable for three misdemeanors under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) for bird deaths (the opinion lists 35 birds, including “twenty...more

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Imposes First-Ever Criminal Penalties For Bird Deaths Caused By Wind Projects

The first criminal case ever prosecuted under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) against a wind energy company for bird deaths resulted recently in Duke Energy Renewables (Duke Energy) reaching a settlement with the U.S....more

Renewable Energy Update -- May 24, 2013

Renewable Energy Focus - Insights into renewables and the grid from Congress: GreenTech Policy News - May 13 A House of Representatives subcommittee hearing produced insights into how safe renewables are for the U.S....more

The New 2013 Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance: Certainty for the Industry or Dust in the Wind?

The new Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (“FWS”) presents an interesting question for wind project developers and operators – does it really provide greater certainty and reduce...more

Renewable Energy Update -- February 6, 2013

In This Issue: Renewable Energy Focus - All energy, including renewables, impact water resources; 7 projects looking to use big data to cut the cost of solar power; Cape Wind might land federal loan; Ralls sues to void...more

Wind Projects: Bald Eagles Don't Surf

One would think that preliminary estimates of bird fatalities at a proposed 78 MW wind farm in southeastern Minnesota were hardly news. After all, there are over 60,000 MW of wind energy installed in the United States. But...more

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