BLM Releases Draft Environmental Study for Wind Development
September 15, 2004
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on wind energy development on September 9th. The report assesses the environmental, social, and economic impacts associated with wind energy development on BLM-administered lands in 11 western states, and evaluates various management approaches for the BLM to mitigate potential impacts while facilitating wind energy development. Examining several options for the BLM to take regarding wind power (including doing nothing), the Draft Programmatic EIS finds the best option would be for the BLM to implement a comprehensive Wind Energy Development Program, which would establish BLM policies and best management practices. In addition, BLM would amend a number of its land use plans to address wind energy development and to identify wind-energy exclusion areas. However, reviews would still be required for each project to address site specific and species-specific concerns, and these reviews could lead to additional mitigation measures. Public comments on the Draft Programmatic EIS will be accepted for 90 days after the announcement. See the BLM press release or go directly to the Draft Programmatic EIS.