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Published February 08, 2013, 12:15 PM

Bird group says North Dakota wind farm needs tougher review

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bird advocacy group says a proposed North Dakota wind farm should undergo a stricter environmental review of threats posed to the endangered whooping crane.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bird advocacy group says a proposed North Dakota wind farm should undergo a stricter environmental review of threats posed to the endangered whooping crane.

The Washington-based American Bird Conservancy said Friday that it was among 76 groups calling for the tougher review of the Merricourt Wind Power Project.

The group says the coalition is asking the federal Fish and Wildlife Service to prepare an environmental impact statement for the project instead of an abbreviated environmental assessment. The conservancy says the 100 turbine project is planned in a key migration route for many birds, including endangered whooping cranes and threatened piping plovers.

Project developer enXco had originally planned to sell the wind power to Xcel Energy, which dropped out in 2011 over potential harm to the two bird species.

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