Date Requested: January 12, 2022
Time Requested: 04:42 PM
Agency: Natural Resources, WV Division of
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
1158 Introduced SB117
CBD Subject:



Sources of Revenue:

Special Fund

Legislation creates:

Creates New Revenue

Fiscal Note Summary

Effect this measure will have on costs and revenues of state government.

The purpose of this legislation is to allow the Director of the Division of Natural Resources to assess a Wildlife Impact Fee on any operator of a wind power project that injures or kills a protected species of animal. By law all wildlife is protected for the use and enjoyment of all the citizens of West Virginia. When wildlife is killed, the DNR is compensated $100 per animal as pursuant to the wildlife replacement provisions in West Virginia Code ยง20-2-5a. Given a strike event (i.e., multiple animals killed by turbines and investigated by biologists) is reported by the operator of a wind power project, the DNR estimates that each investigation and assessment will cost the DNR no less than $475 per investigation. Based on an average of 5 reported strike events in West Virginia each year, an estimated $2,375 will be spent by the DNR investigating these strike events. While the total assessment of wildlife compensation by turbines must be determined on a case-by-case basis, studies on turbine mortality can provide a baseline value for compensation. There are 376 active turbines in West Virginia. On average, 6.86 birds and 1.2 bats are killed per turbine each year. With the established replacement cost of $100 per animal, the DNR expects to receive $303,056 in compensation for mortality caused by turbines with a net replacement for loss of wildlife of $300,681 ($303,056 - $2,375).

Fiscal Note Detail

Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 2,375 2,375
Personal Services 0 0 0
Current Expenses 0 0 0
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 303,056 303,056

Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):

Hourly rate for Diversity Biologist = $22.40 - DNR Supervisor for Wildlife Diversity Fringe Rate = 32.65% Total Rate for Biological Investigation ($22.40 + 32.65%) = $29.71 Biologist to investigate strike event = 2 Hours charged for investigation = 16 Est. Cost for investigation including fringe (16 X 29.71) = $475 Average number of investigations per year = 5 Estimated costs of investigations = $2,375 Est. Bird killed per turbine per year = 6.86 - turbines.php Est. Bats killed per turbine per year = 1.2 - Thaxter et al. (2017) Number of active turbines in West Virginia = 376 - Replacement costs per animal = $100 Est Bird replacement cost per year (6.86 X 376 X $100) = $257,936 Est. Bat replacement cost per year (1.2 X 376 X $100) = $45,120 Total Est replacement cost ($257,937 + $45,120) = $303,056


    Person submitting Fiscal Note: Amanda Morris
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