Commission to set rules for windmills in wetlands
By DAN DiPAOLO, Daily American, Friday, October 5, 2007 4:25 AM
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will develop guidelines for wind turbine development in wetland and watershed areas following the quarterly board meeting in Harrisburg.
The commissioners agreed during the Oct. 1 meeting not only to develop guidelines but also send a letter to Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty concerning the matter, said Len Lichvar, the District 4 commissioner.
“We need to develop a full-blown policy, especially in exceptional value watersheds and wetland areas. We’re charged by legislature to protect the resources of the state,” he said.
The guidelines will include recommendations on studies to complete prior to permitting turbine sites, he said.
John Armway, the commission’s division chief of environmental services, said that guidelines will look to assess project impacts on not only watersheds and wetlands, but on reptiles and amphibians that could see migration routes or habitat impaired by the sites.
Of particular concern are endangered species that include some salamanders and the eastern timber rattlesnake, he said.... The goal is to provide a draft policy to the board during the next quarterly meeting in January, he said.
The commission will push for studies to be completed in full before the permit is issued, which varies from a recent agreement between wind developers and the game commission calling for ongoing studies pre- and post- construction.
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