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We're finding ways for bats and birds to live safely alongside Kibby Wind Farm.
Environmental integrity is critical to TransCanada's operations today, as it will be in the future, and we take actions every day to demonstrate our commitment. Through our environmental assessment process and partnerships with government agencies and other stakeholders, we work to protect biodiversity wherever we operate.
For instance, on a recent project in Idaho to stabilize a natural gas pipeline under the Pend Oreille River, TransCanada developed innovative methods to avoid interrupting the migratory pattern of the threatened bull trout. We also donated money toward a local fish hatchery to support their conservation work for this species.
Other 2013 contributions to projects that help to reduce our impacts and protect precious habitats include:
We're supporting the restoration and conservation of an 80-acre property adjacent to the Smith Waterfowl Production Area in Clay County, Neb.. The project includes placing a perpetual conservation easement on the property and restoring approximately 18 acres of wetland and 62 acres of native grassland.
TransCanada participated in a working committee for the Association québécoise de la production d'énergie renouvelable (Quebec Association for the Production of Renewable Energy), which was responsible for developing breeding habitat characterization guidelines for the Bicknell's thrush (a listed species). The guidelines will provide the wind power industry with a better assessment tool for protecting a sensitive species that has very limited breeding grounds.
We continue to work with state agencies in Maine to ensure the stability and viability of bird and bat populations at the Kibby Wind Farm. As part of this effort, we're coordinating with regulatory agencies to ensure that our wind turbines have minimal impact on bird and bat populations. Similarly, we're finalizing permit requirements to demonstrate that Canadian lynx and northern bog lemming populations will also not be affected.
The Ravenswood Generating Station, in New York City, is conducting a two-year fish monitoring study to verify that newly-installed equipment is meeting performance standards and reducing the impact on species in the East River. The end of the study's first year has shown significant impact reductions to fish populations.
TransCanada is working with the Alberta government and Forest Industries to restore more than 100 hectares of woodland caribou habitat in a recently established conservation area in the province's northeastern region. The project will reforest existing linear corridors, such as seismic lines and access roads, creating improved habitat for the species. Once complete, it will reconnect caribou habitats fragmented by decades of industrial development and minimize the movement of predators — considered a key threat to the species' sustainability.
On the endangered list since 1989, the small orange-spotted American burying beetle is the only listed species that could be adversely affected by construction of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. As part of our efforts to develop the project, TransCanada captured and relocated 119 of these beetles in Nebraska and provided compensation in the form of a Habitat Trust that will protect the beetle's habitat over the long term.
TransCanada also worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the Gulf Coast Project over a number of months to create a Habitat Conservation Plan, which specifies the conservation measures for protecting the beetle in Oklahoma.