Harbour porpoise could blow giant wind farm off course

September 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Now it has emerged that RWE estimates in a planning submission that 860
harbour porpoises may be disturbed by noise from pile drivers.

Denise Parker, of the Porthcawl Environment Trust, said: “This is a breeding
site and a resting place for the harbour porpoise, so we are very concerned.”

Natural England said the developer had not yet shown that the scheme would not
have an “adverse impact” on mammals.

The Planning Inspectorate has also received hundreds of submissions from
individuals on the plans.

“The effect on marine life is unknown. I am concerned for the harbour
porpoises which are supposed to be protected by EU legislation,” said Rachel
Margaret Snaith.

Gareth Thomas, a retired vet living on the Gower coast in South Wales, wrote:
“Of the mammals affected, the Harbour Porpoise is the most likely victim,
for the local population, centred on Swansea bay, is known to use this area
for feeding and recreation.

“It is anticipated that its main threat will be water-borne noise from the
operations, particularly in the construction phase, which may last a decade.”

RWE says its environmental assessment concludes that construction noise would
have only a “minor adverse” effect.

A Defra spokesman said: “We are working to identify further sites to protect
this important species in line with EU requirements.”

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