The European Commission has confirmed that it is taking infringement action against the UK authorities, because they failed to protect native harbour porpoises in connection with the development of the Atlantic Array offshore wind farm, Wales Online reports.
Specifically, allowing the construction of wind turbines in Outer Bristol Channel would violate the rules of European Habitat Directives.
The Porthcawl Environment Trust (PET) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have filed legal complaints on this matter. The Commission has now contacted PET via letter, which says that a letter of formal notice has been issued to the UK Government.
In the letter, the Commission states that the UK Government did not comply with its obligations under the Habitats Directive.
The PET says that the Government is pursuing the development of offshore wind farms, while ignoring the significance of the Outer Bristol Channel site as a breeding site for the marine life.
WWF commented on this issue by saying that it did file a complaint to the European Commission regarding protection of harbour porpoises in the UK, however, not jointly with PET. WWF’s complaint was not aimed at any specific development, and it states that marine conservation and renewables can coexist if everything is done right to minimize negative impacts, Wales Online cites a spokesman from WWF.
Offshore WIND Staff, August 21, 2013; Image: marinediscovery