[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


News Home

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

US projects that snub guidelines will face bird-death scrutiny  

Credit:  Benjamin Romano, Las Vegas, www.rechargenews.com 2 March 2012 ~~

US wind projects that follow new federal siting guidelines but still cause greater-than-expected impacts to wildlife will not face as much scrutiny from law enforcement as those that do not, says a top Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) official.

“We all know that some birds are going to get killed by wind turbines. If a company, a developer, follows the guidelines and works with us, then you’re going to be a low enforcement priority,” says David Cottingham, senior adviser to the director of the FWS.

Summarising a significant change in the agency’s forthcoming Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines, Cottingham says it is not possible to absolve a company of legal responsibility, but that the agency will focus resources on those that do not voluntarily adhere to the guidelines.

Under development since 2003, a final version of the guidelines is expected from the FWS soon. These guidelines and others still in development for at-risk eagles come as the US industry is increasingly turning to wind sites with greater environmental and permitting challenges.

Experts at the American Wind Energy Association Project Siting Seminar emphasise that the industry does not need another Altamont Pass, the site east of San Francisco where thousands of small turbines were installed in the 1970s and 1980s in an area used heavily by raptors, including golden eagles, to disastrous effect.

Earlier versions of the FWS guidelines were written as if Altamont was the norm, rather than an anomaly, says Sam Enfield, a wind industry veteran involved with the guidelines throughout their development. But after a lengthy process, including intensive input from industry, state regulatory and environmental representatives, the new guidelines appear workable for all parties.

Enfield, investment director at MAP Royalty, says he is optimistic the FWS guidelines will reduce project development costs because they call for studies only as needed.

Genevieve Thompson, a vice-president of the Audubon Society and a board member of the American Wind Wildlife Institute, says the voluntary nature of the guidelines allows them to address issues such as habitat fragmentation and species beyond those covered by the Endangered Species Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Cottingham says the guidelines encourage early consultation, which will help developers avoid sites with insurmountable wildlife issues.

Source:  Benjamin Romano, Las Vegas, www.rechargenews.com 2 March 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.