The government plans to make environmental assessments mandatory before any wind power station capable of generating at least 10,000kw can be constructed.
The Ministry of Environment on Tuesday released a draft ordinance aimed at adding wind farms to the list of structures regulated by the Environmental Impact Assessment Law.
Studies will determine the distance noise can carry and evaluate the impact on the surrounding ecology, including the risk of birds colliding with facilities.
The ministry will seek cabinet approval as soon as late September, with an eye toward implementing the measure in October 2012.
For wind farms capable of producing at least 7,500kw but less than 10,000kw, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will determine whether an assessment is necessary on a case-by-case basis.
Currently, there is no legal obligation to conduct assessments for wind farms, although the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization has published a manual for the procedure and asks for an assessment as a prerequisite for subsidies.
Some prefectures, such as Fukushima and Nagano, have issued their own ordinances requiring an assessment for wind farm construction.
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