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D.C. focus on wind, wildlife  

Wildlife advocates hoping for a stronger voice in regulations concerning wind energy development on land and sea are expected to testify Wednesday at a hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee in Washington, D.C.

While the Cape Wind proposal isn’t specifically on the agenda, you can bet that folks on both side of the proposal will be interested in the aftermath of the hearing.

At issue will be the proposed “Energy Policy Reform and Revitalization Act of 2007,” filed by U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va.

Among other things, this legislation would require very specific standards for “siting, construction, monitoring, and adaptive management” of wind farms to “avoid, minimize, and mitigate adverse impacts on migratory birds and bats.” The standards would apply to land and offshore wind farms.

The Environmental Protection Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and now the National Research Council have gone on record saying there is a need for more site-specific information from scientific experts to properly assess impact on wildlife, rather than industry-generated impact reports. Supporters of wind farms in general have described the legislation as an “anti-wind bill” and warn it would place onerous new regulations on wind turbines.

Scheduled to start at 10 a.m., the hearing will be webcast live on the committee’s Web site at http://resourcescommittee.house.gov.


21 May 2007

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