Thursday, September 12, 2013

HMANA's New Wind Turbine Siting Policy

HMANA's New Wind Turbine Siting Policy

At its monthly board meeting June 17, 2013, the HMANA Board of Directors approved an update to its 2008 policy on industrial wind turbine siting and monitoring. It can be seen in its entirety on the HMANA website:  The update reflects changes between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2003 interim guidelines and its current Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines (LBWEG). This update also reflects HMANA’s concerns about the USFWS commitment to extending the life of incidental eagle-take permits from five to 30 years.  

HMANA strongly supported the USFWS 2003 interim guidelines, especially the stipulations that developers of industrial wind energy projects avoid known bird migration pathways and daily movement flyways, avoid features of the landscape known to attract raptors (such as ridge lines and coastlines), avoid areas formally designated as Important Bird Areas and avoid documented locations of any species protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. The current LBWEG constitute a significant departure from the 2003 guidelines, scrapping these important stipulations and failing to establish permanent and binding regulations or guidelines that provide clear, unambiguous federal guidance to the state and local entities that must make decisions about the proper siting of proposed projects.  The 2013 LBWEG are available for review at

Next:  We’ll discuss why the new USFWS guidelines are problematic

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