Fed wind-power guidelines aim to cut bird deaths
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.