Winding Up: Implementing New Wind Energy Siting Guidelines

Winding Up Implementing New Wind Energy Siting GuidelinesThe Department of the Interior’s new, voluntary Land-based Wind Energy Guidelines are the result of a four-year effort by the Wind Turbine Guidelines Federal Advisory Committee and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to reconcile the sometimes competing public goods of wind energy deployment and the protection of wildlife. The Guidelines set out recommended best practices for land-based wind energy development, from site selection through decommissioning, which are designed to minimize impacts on wildlife and habitats. The Guidelines will be most useful if Service staff, wind energy developers, wildlife consultants, state wildlife agencies, and environmental groups share a common understanding of what the Guidelines require, and how they are to be implemented. To this end, the Service is planning a series of Guidelines training courses, preliminarily scheduled for September 2012. Recently, the Environmental Law Institute, Defenders of Wildlife, and Hogan Lovells jointly sponsored an interactive workshop, which brought together senior Service officials with representatives from developers, conservation organizations, consultants, and states to discuss the important issues on which the Service should provide training. Presentations from the Workshop, as well as a summary of the recommended training issues, are posted on the ELI Workshop website.

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