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Wind farm foes say project needs kill permit

OAKLAND — Opponents of a proposed wind power project in far western Maryland say the developer should be required to obtain a federal permit to kill federally endangered bats that could fall victim to the spinning blades.

The Cumberland Times-News reported Tuesday on the dispute over the Fair Wind project planned by a subsidiary of Chicago-based Exelon Corp. It would place 12 wind turbines on Backbone Mountain about five miles south of Oakland.

Exelon applied with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2011 for an “incidental take” permit for Indiana bats that might be killed by its nearby Criterion wind farm. That 28-turbine project began operating in 2010.

A Public Service Commission utility judge says the opponents’ concerns about bats and migrating golden eagles may merit consideration by state regulators.