American Wind Energy Association

1101 14th Street NW, 12th Floor Washington, DC 20005 Phone 202 383-2500 Fax (202) 383-2505 windmail awea.org Project Coordinator Laurie Jodziewicz Tetra Tech EC, Inc. www.tteci.com 617- 457-8236 Project Manager Aileen Giovanello aileen.giovanello tteci.com Nixon Peabody LLP www.nixonpeabody.com 617-345-1000 Project Manager Carolyn S. Kaplan, Esq. ckaplan nixonpeabody.com Aviation Systems Inc. www.aviationsystems.com

Glossaryof Key Terms

Access roads - Provide construction and service access to each wind turbine. Adverse visual impact - An unwelcome visual intrusion that diminishes the visual quality of an existing landscape. All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) - Part of the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment under CERCLA relative to contaminated properties, AAI involves research to determine prior ownership and use of a property. Anemometer - One of the components of a meteorological tower, the anemometer is a sensor that...

Phase II Environmental Site Assessments

If the non-intrusive Phase I ESA establishes that there is an actual or potential REC at the site, in order to be eligible for defenses from liability, the developer must continue the inquiry, using additional methods to confirm the existence of the REC and to evaluate the potential impacts for the transaction. Such additional investigations are typically known as Phase II ESAs and typically include intrusive sampling and analysis of environmental media (e.g., groundwater, surface water,...

Air Quality and Climate Impacts

Wind energy benefits the local ambient air quality and long-term health of the atmosphere because it produces electricity without emitting pollutants. Unlike conventional fossil fuel-fired electric power plants, no pollutant emissions are associated with wind power generation. To the extent that electricity produced by wind energy displaces electricity produced by fossil fuel-fired power plants, pollutant emissions are reduced and air quality is improved. Pollutants that may be reduced from...

Electromagnetic Fields

Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) emanate from any wire carrying electricity. Members of the general public are routinely exposed to these fields in their everyday lives. Possible effects associated with the electric and magnetic fields from transmission lines (or similar electrical sources) fall into two categories short-term effects that can be perceived and may represent a nuisance possible long-term health effects. The issue of whether there are long-term health effects associated with exposure...

Mitigation Local Economy

Socioeconomic impacts are difficult to assess, as they will vary by community and region. Therefore, the developer and local surrounding communities should work together and come to agreements on project specific mitigation for each proposed wind project. It is important that the nature and extent of socioeconomic The developer and local surrounding communities should work together and come to agreements on project specific mitigation for each proposed wind project. impacts be understood...

Impact Analysis

The construction and operation of a wind farm can have socioeconomic impacts on a region or community. The extent of the potential impacts depends on the location and the size of project with respect to the local economy and industry. This section focuses on potential impacts of a wind project to the local economy and property values. A wind project typically has a mixture of construction workers and operation and maintenance workers. Most wind farm projects tend to be located in rural and...

Visual Impact Assessment

An aesthetic or visual resource assessment that supports the siting and development of a wind farm should contain the fundamental components needed to determine and evaluate the potential for visual impacts. Those basic components include Characterization of the baseline or existing conditions. This usually requires a thorough, representative sampling of before photographs. It is suggested that these be from all directions and include near range, moderate range, and far range views of the...

Surface Waters Wetlands

Surface Waters include rivers, stream, lakes, ponds and other bodies of water easily seen or accessed above ground. Wetlands are areas of the land surface where soils are saturated for extended periods during the growing season or flooded during all or part of most years. They also are characterized by plant growth that has adapted to these saturated or flooded conditions. Many wetlands are seasonal, meaning that standing water is present only during a portion of every year. Wetlands provide...

State Owned Lands

A proposed project may necessitate acquiring the right to use land owned and controlled by a state government. For example, the project developer may identify a possible site that is located within a state forest, state park, wildlife management area, recreation area, scientific study area, or other state preservation area. Several agencies may have jurisdiction over the various types of state-owned lands, so it is important to identify the agency that is delegated with the authority to provide...

Habitat Loss Alteration

Other wildlife species may be reluctant to cross roads, which could have adverse effects such as decreasing reproduction within the local population, causing difficulty finding mates and sufficient food, and interruption of migration routes. After construction, roads may be used as travel lanes by some predators, which could increase predation on prey species such as small mammals and herpetofauna (i.e., reptiles and amphibians). Potential avoidance of wind projects by big game such as deer and...

Preliminary Regulatory Analysis

This list can be used as a checklist when carrying out a preliminary inquiry into local permitting requirements to identify whether or not these typical permits apply to a project. As indicated above, it is important to distinguish between permitting requirements for a meteorological tower and the actual wind turbines and equipment comprising an operational wind energy project. Often a meteorological tower can be permitted as a temporary structure, an accessory or ancillary use to the existing...

Typical Local Permitting Requirements for Wind Energy Projects

Development of wind project within county township Many counties have zoning ordinances that classify parts of the county or township into different districts. A wind project is often allowed as a conditional use in agricultural or industrial districts. A permit is required to demonstrate that the wind project will be compatible with the zoning ordinance. Many counties are incorporating requirements into their zoning ordinances specifically for wind projects, or Wind Energy Conversion Systems...

State Environmental Impact Review Laws LittleNEPAs

Many states have their own environmental impact review or environmental planning laws. The impetus for these laws can be traced to passage of NEPA in 1969, discussed in Section 4.1.1. The review and documentation required under these state laws often parallel those required under the federal statute. As a result, these state equivalents are often referred to as little-NEPAs. In New York, commercial-scale wind projects typically have to prepare an environmental impact statement under the State...

Studies

Studies of effects using a Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) design can provide credible evidence as to whether any post-construction changes observed are the result of the wind energy facility itself or other action, such as mitigation, instead of natural or other man-made variations or land management. Aside from fatalities, species scarcity results from displacement when species avoid the area within a certain distance of a wind turbine. To a lesser extent, before-after studies at a project...

Impact Analysis Microwave and Radar Systems

Microwave telecommunication systems are wireless point-to-point links that communicate between two sites (antennas) and require clear line-of-site conditions between each antenna. Obstructions between transmitters reduce the reliability of the transmission. Protection against lightning strikes is built into the electrical systems of all wind energy projects. A Licensed Microwave Search and Worst Case Fresnel Zone (WCFZ) Analysis can be carried out to identify microwave paths within a project...

Collisions

Until 2003, the bat fatalities recorded at wind energy projects during post-construction monitoring were relatively low in number (0 to 6 bats per MW per year) and dominated by a few species (migratory, solitary tree bats such as the hoary, silver-haired, and red bat). The fatalities appeared to occur mostly during the fall migration season (NWCC 2004). The discovery of 458 bat carcasses at a 44- turbine wind project on a forested ridge in West Virginia was unanticipated (NWCC 2004). As a...

Paymentin LieuofTaxes PILOT

Often the key to reaching agreement with local officials on siting issues and various other local project impacts, regardless of their particular approval process used by such officials, is the size and form of annual community compensation that will be received from the project developer, owner, or operator. Virtually all wind farm facilities will be subject to property taxes and from more than one local taxing entity e.g., town, school system, county . Because the property tax obligation can...

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment

To minimize liability under federal or state law, or if the results of the screening tool mentioned above demonstrate a need to do so, the developer may consider performing a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment consistent with ASTM Standard E 1527-05 - Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process. Several major federal statues impose liability with respect to contaminated lands and waters, including the Comprehensive Environmental...

Planning Public Outreach

Planning public outreach is a crucial aspect of the siting process and should be commenced in the initial planning stages. To the extent members of the public After identifying the considerations most relevant to a particular community, the developer may prepare an outreach plan to address community concerns and build project support. Sheep grazing near the Shiloh Wind Project in Solano County, California. Photo courtesy of PPM Energy. Sheep grazing near the Shiloh Wind Project in Solano...

Bald and Golden Eagle Protection

Bald Eagle Protection Act

The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act Eagle Protection Act was passed in 1940 to prevent the extinction of the bald eagle and was amended in 1962 to include protection of the golden eagles 16 USC 668-668d . The Eagle Protection Act makes it unlawful to take, possess, sell, purchase, barter transport, export or import any bald eagle or golden eagle, their parts, nests, or eggs 16 USC 668 a . Take means to shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb, the eagles 16...

National Environmental Policy

Environmental Scoping Process

Signed into law on January 1, 1970, the National Environmental Policy Act NEPA 42 USC 4321 was the first major environmental law in the United States. This important statute established a national environmental policy and required federal agencies to undertake an assessment of the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions. Regulations promulgated by the Council on Environmental Quality CEQ 40 CFR Parts 1500 - 1508 implement the procedural provisions of NEPA, and...