filed: February 25, 2016 • West Virginia
Credit: By Ken Ward Jr., Staff Writer | Charleston Gazette-Mail | www.wvgazettemail.com
The owner of a Barbour County wind energy facility has been sentenced to pay $30,000 in fines after pleading guilty to two federal charges related to the deaths in 2011 of hundreds of migratory birds, court records show.
AES Laurel Mountain LLC was sentenced earlier this month by U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Aloi after reaching a plea agreement with U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld.
The company was sentenced 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.
Charges were originally filed against AES Laurel Mountain in late January and a sentencing hearing was held on Feb. 12. Copies of legal briefs about the sentencing were placed under seal, and were not available to the public on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia’s online computer system.
The case concerns events in October 2011 at AES Laurel Mountain’s Battery Energy Storage System, or BESS, located near the company’s wind power generation facility at Belington.