Wind power firm shutting down in Northern California pass

The Associated Press

A wind power company that environmentalists blamed for thousands of bird deaths in Northern California's Altamont Pass is shutting down.

LIVERMORE, Calif. (AP) — A wind power company that environmentalists blamed for thousands of bird deaths in Northern California's Altamont Pass is shutting down.

The Contra Costa Times says Altamont Winds notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service it will cease operations on Sunday in an effort to reduce bird deaths.

The company is one of four operating some 3,000 turbines in the pass.

Environmental groups have said the company dragged its feet in replacing older turbines with newer models that cause fewer avian deaths.

Alameda County figures found that up to 4,600 birds, including golden eagles, died in the wind farm area each year from 2005 to 2012 — although many deaths occurred when the turbines were powered down.

Wind farm companies suggested predators or poison may have killed those.

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