US Forest Service
Washington, D.C. Contact: Press Office 202-205-1134
FOREST SERVICE CLARIFIES INTERNAL POLICIES FOR WIND ENERGY
WASHINGTON, September 13, 2007– In an effort to respond to the national need for renewable energy sources while improving the protection of natural resources, the U. S. Forest Service announced today proposed amendments to clarify internal policies regarding wind energy development.
“These proposed policies respond to the nation’s growing need to develop renewable energy sources while also ensuring the protection of wildlife, scenery and other natural resources,” said Chief Gail Kimbell. “This clarified guidance for the agency is based on carefully reviewed science and will offer our local officials better tools regarding wind energy facilities and procedures.”
The proposed directives provide specific guidance for wind energy facilities under the Special Uses Program on NFS land. The directives address the placement of wind energy turbines, the evaluation of the effects of the turbines, and specific issues associated with the permitting process needed for such projects. In addition, potential effects on wildlife, visual aesthetics, as well as civilian and military radar and aviation operations are addressed.
Under the proposal, the Forest Service would issue two types of wind energy permits. The first is a site testing and feasibility permit for the collection of data on the wind resource. The second is a permit for construction and operation of wind energy facilities.
The proposed directives stem from an Executive Order to expedite energy-related projects as well as the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The Forest Service proposal is similar to the procedures already established by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management.
The proposals are open to a 60 day public comment period after they are published in the Federal Register.
13 September 2007
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