Dan Boone's Response to Maryland PSC's proposed siting guidelines for windpower projects
August 4, 2006
The attached two documents include the MD Public Service Commision's (PSC) proposed Siting Guidelines for wind energy facilities in MD, and a detailed critique of this draft by Dan Boone, a conservation biologist with nearly 30 years of professional experience involving wildlife biology, forest ecology, and biodiversity protection.
These guidelines were developed following passage of the MD RPS law (enacted in 2004), which directed that the Public Service Commission form a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to propose measures for avoiding and mitigating wildlife impact during the siting, construction and operation of industrial wind energy facilities within the state. If the PSC adopts the recommended guidelines, they will become regulations.
As Boone's comments indicate, the proposed MD Siting Guidelines are woefully inadequate. Furthermore, 2 of the members of the TAG - Dr. Chandler Robbins and Dr. Donald Meritt, representing the Patuxent National Wildlife Center and the Maryland Ornithological Society, respectfully, have requested in a letter sent to the PSC on August 4th that their names be removed from the list of Technical Advisory Group members. They did so as protest over the actions of the TAG, which their letter described thusly:
"The wind turbine advocates dominated the meetings, and refused to consider any wording that would restrict their activities or hold them responsible for bird or bat casualties resulting from erecting turbines in areas known to have large concentrations. The resulting document essentially protects the industry rather than the wildlife. This is scandalous. If the Commission accepts the current version of the Guidelines, the public will conclude that the TAG was bribed by the industry."
Following are weblinks to the professional credentials of Drs. Robbins and Meritt:
Mr. Boone is also a policy analyst who has nearly 4 years of experience with utility-scale wind energy development. He is a co-author of a recent report evaluating the development potential and environmental impact concerns for industrial wind energy facilities - see: A Landscape Classification System - Addressing Environmental Issues Associated with Utility-Scale Wind Energy Development In Virginia; available via www.VAwind.org .