Ken Salazar, secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) praised the work of the 22-member Wind Turbine Guidelines Federal Advisory Committee, which reached consensus on a set of draft recommendations aimed at minimizing the impacts of land-based wind farms on wildlife and its habitat.
Salazar says he will review the recommendations and take them under advisement to develop guidelines for evaluating wind energy development on public and private lands.
Highlights of the committee's recommendations include the following:
– A decision-making framework that guides all stages of wind energy development;
– Reliance on the best available science when assessing renewable energy projects and their potential environmental impact; and
– Use of landscape-scaled planning that recognizes the need to think long-term about protecting the U.S.' economic and natural resources.
‘Wind power is one of the keys to America's clean energy future, but its development must be balanced with the long-term protection of the natural resources under our management,’ says Salazar.
The group was created in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) Act and represents varied interests associated with wind energy development and wildlife management. The advisory committee does not address offshore wind energy development.
The draft report contains both policy recommendations and recommended voluntary guidelines for siting and operating wind energy projects in order to avoid or minimize potential impacts to wildlife and habitat.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of the Interior