Table of Contents

1 Introduction_11

1.2 Overview of Handbook 1-2

2 Wind Energy Basics_2-1

2.1 Overview of the Development Process 2-1

2.1.1 Conduct Preliminary Site Characterization 2-2

2.1.2 Acquire Land Rights 2-4

2.1.3 Conduct Environmental Impact Analysis and Mitigation 2-4

2.1.4 Other Considerations 2-4

2.2 Components of a Wind Project 2-5

2.2.1 Wind Turbines 2-6

2.2.2 Electrical Collection System 2-6

2.2.3 Transmission System 2-7

2.2.4 Access Roads 2-7

2.2.5 Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Facility 2-7

2.2.6 Meteorological Towers 2-7

2.3 Building a Wind Farm 2-8

3 Critical Environmental Issues Analysis_3-1

3.1 Fatal Flaws/Major Considerations 3-1

3.2 Constraints Map 3-4

4 Regulatory Framework_4-1

4.1 Federal Regulatory Framework 4-1

4.1.1 National Environmental Policy Act 4-4

4.1.2 Fish and Wildlife 4-7

4.1.2.1 Endangered Species Act 4-7

4.1.2.2 Migratory Bird Treaty Act 4-11

4.1.2.3 Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act 4-11

4.1.2.4 Interim Guidelines/Federal Advisory Committee 4-12

4.1.3 Cultural and Paleontological Resources 4-13

4.1.3.1 Cultural Resources 4-13

4.1.3.1.1 The National Historic Preservation Act 4-14

4.1.3.1.2 Other Regulatory Considerations 4-15

4.1.3.2 Paleontological Resources 4-15

4.1.4 Water Resources 4-15

4.1.4.1 Section 401 - Water Quality Certification 4-16

4.1.4.2 Section 402 - National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System 4-16

4.1.4.3 Section 404 - Discharge of Dredged or Fill Materials 4-18

4.1.5 Aviation 4-20

4.1.6 Electromagnetic Interference 4-21

4.1.7 Federally Managed Lands 4-22

4.1.7.1 Bureau of Land Management 4-23

4.1.7.2 Bureau of Reclamation 4-25

4.1.7.3 Bureau of Indian Affairs/Indian Reservations 4-27

4.1.7.4 Forest Service 4-29

4.1.7.5 National Resource Conservation Service/Farm Service Agency 4-31

4.1.7.6 Department of Defense 4-32

4.2 State Regulatory Framework 4-33

4.2.1 State Energy Facility Siting Commissions/Public Utility Commissions 4-33

4.2.2 Model Ordinances and Guidelines 4-35

4.2.3 State Environmental Impact Review Laws ("Little-NEPAs") 4-35

4.2.4 State Environmental Laws 4-36

4.2.4.1 Endangered Species 4-37

4.2.4.2 Wetlands and Waterways 4-37

4.2.4.2.1 Section 401 State Water Quality Certification 4-37

4.2.4.2.3 Waterways Crossings 4-38

4.2.5 Historic Preservation and Cultural Resources 4-38

4.2.6 Stormwater 4-39

4.2.7 Agricultural Protection 4-40

4.2.8 Other Applicable State Regulations 4-40

4.2.9 State-Owned Lands 4-41

4.3 Local Approvals 4-41

4.3.1 Preliminary Regulatory Analysis 4-43

4.3.2 Pre-Application Process and Preliminary Design 4-44

4.3.3 Formal Application and Approval Process 4-45

4.3.4 Appeal 4-45

4.3.5 Timing 4-46

4.3.6 Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) 4-46

4.3.7 Locally Owned Lands 4-46

5 Impact Analysis and Mitigation_5-1

Biological Impacts

5-1

5.1.1 Birds

5-2

5.1.1.1 Impact Analysis

5-2

5.1.1.2 Mitigation and Monitoring

5-9

5.1.2 Bats

5-11

5.1.2.1 Impact Analysis

5-11

5.1.2.2 Mitigation and Monitoring

5-14

5.1.3 Other Wildlife

5-15

5.1.3.1 Impact Analysis

5-15

5.1.3.2 Mitigation and Monitoring

5-17

5.1.4 Vegetation

5-18

5.1.4.1 Impact Analysis

5-18

5.1.4.2 Mitigation and Monitoring

5-18

5.2 Water Resources 5-19

5.2.1 Surface Waters & Wetlands 5-19

5.2.1.1 Impact Analysis 5-20

5.2.1.2 Mitigation 5-22

5.2.2 Groundwater Resources 5-23

5.2.2.1 Impact Analysis 5-23

5.2.2.2 Mitigation 5-25

5.2.3 Soil Erosion and Water Quality 5-26

5.2.3.1 Impact Analysis 5-26

5.2.3.2 Mitigation 5-26

5.3 Visual/Aesthetics 5-27

5.3.1 Impact Analysis 5-28

5.3.2 Mitigation 5-32

5.4 Shadow Flicker 5-33

5.4.1 Impact Analysis 5-33

5.4.2 Mitigation 5-34

5.5 Sound 5-34

5.5.1 Impact Analysis 5-34

5.5.2 Mitigation 5-38

5.6 Cultural and Historical Resources 5-38

5.6.1 Impact Analysis 5-39

5.6.2 Mitigation 5-41

5.7 Socioeconomics 5-42

5.7.1 Impact Analysis 5-42

5.7.1.1 Local Economy 5-42

5.7.1.2 Property Values 5-44

5.7.2 Mitigation 5-45

5.7.2.1 Local Economy 5-45

5.7.2.2 Property Values 5-46

5.8 Public Health and Safety 5-46

5.8.1 Ice Shedding 5-47 5.8.1.1 Mitigation 5-47

5.8.2 Blade Drop/Throw 5-48 5.8.2.1 Mitigation 5-48

5.8.4 Stray Voltage 5-49 5.8.4.1 Mitigation 5-49

5.8.5 Electromagnetic Fields 5-50 5.8.5.1 Mitigation 5-50

5.8.6 Lightning Strikes 5-50 5.8.6.1 Mitigation 5-51

5.9 Communications 5-51 5.9.1 Impact Analysis 5-51

5.9.1.1 Microwave and Radar Systems 5-51

5.9.1.2 Off-Air TV Broadcast Signal Distortion 5-53

5.9.1.3 AM/FM Broadcast Signals 5-53

5.9.1.4 LMR Operations

5-53

5.9.2 Mitigation

5-54

5.10 Ground Transportation and Traffic

5-54

5.10.1Transportation Impacts Analysis

5-54

5.10.2Transportation Mitigation

5-55

5.10.3Traffic Impacts Analysis

5-56

5.10.4Traffic Mitigation

5-57

5.11 Solid and Hazardous Wastes

5-58

5.11.1Impact Analysis

5-58

5.11.2Mitigation

5-59

5.12 Air Quality and Climate Impacts

5-61

6 ASTM Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)

6-1

6.1 Purpose of Environmental Screening and Site Assessments

6-1

6.2 Screening Level Assessments

6-2

6.3 Phase I Environmental Site Assessment

6-2

6.4 Phase II Environmental Site Assessments

6-4

6.5 Contracting for Environmental Site Assessments

6-4

6.6 CERCLA - Satisfying the Requirement for Conducting "All Appropriate Inquiries"

6-5

7 Public Outreach

7-1

7.1 Planning Public Outreach

7-1

8 Glossary of Key Terms

8-1

9 Resources

9-1

10 References

10-1

11 Acronym List

Global warming is considered one of the most serious problems facing the global community. Certain gases, such as carbon dioxide, when released in the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels, create a "greenhouse effect." Clean, renewable energy solutions, such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric systems, that do not rely on fossil fuels for energy generation help curb the effects of global warming. Throughout the United States, many local and state governments have set mandates or passed laws to encourage clean energy generation by requiring utilities to produce a portion of electricity from renewable sources. Although wind has been used as an energy source for centuries, only within the last 30 years have advances in technology allowed wind energy to become an increasingly important part of the nation's energy mix. Since 1974 the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has been committed to encouraging and assisting wind energy development in the United States.

This handbook was developed by the AWEA Siting Committee to inform wind energy developers and other interested parties about environmental siting issues relevant to land-based commercial-scale wind energy project development in the United States. This handbook has been designed to provide technical information and useful tools based on the industry's collective experience in siting wind energy projects and assessing potential impacts.

Getting Started With Solar

Getting Started With Solar

Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.

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