The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released two draft documents designed to provide agency employees, developers, federal agencies, and state organizations the information they need to make the best possible decisions in reviewing and selecting sites for utility-scale and community-scale wind energy facilities to avoid and minimize negative impacts to fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats. The documents are part of the Department of Interior's ongoing efforts to improve siting and permitting of renewable energy projects on public lands.
The draft guidance is incorporated into two documents. Draft Voluntary, Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines have been developed for industry to avoid and minimize impacts to federally protected migratory birds and bats and other impacted wildlife resulting from site selection, construction, operation and maintenance of land-based, wind energy facilities. The FWS also has developed peer-reviewed Draft Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance for wind project developers and FWS employees who must evaluate impacts from proposed wind energy projects to eagles protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and other federal laws.
The guidelines will be available for public comment for 90 days following publication in the Federal Register.