Fed wind-power guide­lines aim to cut bird deaths

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics -

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fered new guid­ance Fri­day on where wind farms should be lo­cated.

In­te­rior Sec­re­tary Ken­neth L. Salazar said the guide­lines, which take ef­fect im­me­di­ately, pro­vide a sci­en­tific ba­sis for de­vel­op­ers and gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tors to iden­tify sites with low risk to wildlife while al­low­ing for more wind en­ergy projects on pri­vate and public lands.

But a bird ad­vo­cacy group that lob­bied for manda­tory stan­dards said the vol­un­tary guide­lines will do lit­tle to pro­tect hun­dreds of thou­sands of birds killed each year by tur­bines.

The guide­lines call on the wind in­dus­try to elim­i­nate from con­sid­er­a­tion ar­eas that would pose high risks to birds and other wildlife. If de­vel­op­ers fol­low the guide­lines, they are un­likely to be pros­e­cuted un­der fed­eral law in the event of bird deaths, said Daniel M. Ashe, di­rec­tor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice.

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