The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued on Friday final guidelines for conducting bird and bat studies.
DEC Issues Guidelines for Conducting Bird and Bat Studies at Commercial Wind Energy Projects
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis today announced that the agency has issued guidelines for evaluating the potential impacts of commercial wind energy projects on birds and bats in New York State.
“While wind energy has significant environmental benefits when compared to energy produced from fossil fuel, DEC must consider any potential negative environmental impacts of wind energy production when evaluating proposed projects,” said Commissioner Grannis.
In his State of the State address, Governor Patterson announced his goal that, by the year 2015, New York will meet 45 percent of its electricity needs through improved energy efficiency and clean renewable energy. The Governor also proposed to increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 30 percent from the current 25 percent.
While most of New York’s renewable energy currently comes from hydropower, the amount of wind energy produced has been increasing and New York now has more than 1000 Megawatts of windpower on line. In 2007, DEC announced its draft Guidelines for Conducting Bird and Bat Studies at Commercial Wind Energy Projects for public review and comment.
“These guidelines set forth DEC’s recommendations to commercial wind energy developers on how to characterize bird and bat resources at on-shore wind energy sites and how to estimate and document impacts resulting from the construction and operation of these projects,” added Grannis.
The protocols in the guidelines are intended to provide comparability of data collection among sites and between years so that the information from each site contributes to a statewide understanding of the ecological effects of wind energy generation. The Guidelines have been revised to incorporate comments received during the public comment period and are available on the DEC website.
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