H.R. 2337 just introduced in the US House of Representatives by Congressman Rahall (D-WV), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. Title II, Subtitle D (beginning with Sec. 231 on page 39) of the bill addresses the safe siting of wind energy facilities. This specific section can be found below.
Subtitle D-Ensuring Safety of Wildlife With Respect to Wind Energy
SEC. 231. STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS.
(a) IN GENERAL.-Within 180 days after the date
of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, acting through
the Director and after public notice and opportunity to
comment, shall promulgate regulations that establish minimum standards for siting, construction, monitoring, and adaptive management that must be satisfied by all wind projects to avoid, minimize, and mitigate adverse impacts on migratory birds, bats, and other wildlife.
(b) NEW WIND PROJECTS.-Such standards shall, for all wind projects that have not been constructed before the date of enactment of this Act, include at a minimum
(1) PRECONSTRUCTION SURVEYS.-Requirements for comprehensive preconstruction surveys
that are of sufficient duration and scope to reasonably evaluate the extent to which a particular site is
used by migratory birds, bats, and other wildlife, including species listed as endangered species or
threatened species under section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973(16 U.S.C. 1533) and the
potential cumulative impact that a proposed wind
project would have on such wildlife in combination
with other existing or proposed wind projects. Such
requirements shall provide that surveys must be carried out by scientific teams that include independent
scientists and that the Director may obtain reasonable access to the proposed construction site to ensure that survey protocols are being properly developed and implemented.
(2) SITING.-Standards for siting wind projects
for which construction has not begun so as to avoid impacts, including cumulative impacts, on birds, bats, and other wildlife to the greatest extent practicable based on data gathered during preconstruction surveys required under paragraph
(A) the avoidance of ecologically sensitive
areas of importance to wildlife, such as migration corridors, wetlands, and other habitats
where wildlife congregate; hibernation, breeding, and nursery areas; and critical habitats of
endangered species and threatened species, and
(B) siting and configuring wind turbines to
avoid landscape and other features known to attract wildlife.
(3) CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION.-Requirements for the construction and operation of wind
projects so that they minimize impacts on birds,
bats, and other wildlife to the greatest extent practicable, including by-
(A) incorporating the best available technology for minimizing such impacts, and
(B) operating such projects in a manner
that minimizes impacts on birds, bats, and
(4) POST-CONSTRUCTION MONITORING.-Requirements for thorough post-construction monitoring of the actual impacts, including cumulative
impacts, that wind projects are having on birds,
bats, and other wildlife, including standards and
protocols for transmitting all monitoring data and
findings to the Director for consideration of cumulative impacts and dissemination to the public. Such
requirements shall provide that monitoring must be
carried out by scientific teams that include independent scientists, and that the Director may obtain
access at any time to the site to ensure that monitoring protocols are being properly developed and
(5) ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT.-Requirements
for adaptive management of wind projects if the impacts of such projects on birds, bats, and other wildlife exceed predicted impacts, including requirements
that a wind project operator shall-
(A) take steps to reduce such impacts to
the levels predicted prior to operation; or
(B) suspend operations if such steps are
not, or cannot be, taken.
(6) OFFSET OF UNAVOIDABLE IMPACTS.-Requirements that wind projects offset any unavoidable
impacts, including cumulative impacts, on birds,
bats, and other wildlife through the acquisition, conservation, or restoration of mitigation habitat, the
funding of research that will be of value in conserving affected wildlife, and other appropriate
(c) EXISTING PROJECTS.-Such standards shall, for
all wind projects that have begun operation before the date
of enactment of this Act, include at a minimum appropriate requirements for monitoring, adaptive management,
and offset of unavoidable impacts mitigation for adverse
impacts on birds, bats, and other wildlife, consistent with
paragraphs (4) through (6) of subsection (b).
SEC. 232. CERTIFICATION OF COMPLIANCE.
(a) CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENT.-
(1) IN GENERAL.-No person may construct or
operate a wind project unless the Director has
issued a certification that the project will be constructed and operated in compliance with the standards promulgated under section 231.
(2) APPLICATION.-Paragraph (1) shall
(A) in the case of a wind power project
that began operating before the date of enactment of this Act, beginning at the end of the 180-day period beginning on the date the Director promulgates regulations under subsection (b); and
(B) in the case of a wind power project
that has not been constructed before the date of
enactment of this Act, beginning on such date
(1) IN GENERAL.-Within 180 days after the
date of enactment of this Act, the Director, after
public notice and opportunity to comment, shall promulgate regulations that establish procedures for
issuing certifications under this section.
(2) CONTENTS.-Such regulations shall-
(A) include requirements for submitting an
application for certification under this section,
including requirements for the contents of such
(B) provide for advance public comment on
each application for certification and on the
conditions that should be attached to such a
(C) require that such applications address
in detail how the project will be constructed and
operated in compliance with all applicable
standards promulgated under section 231.
(c) RENEWAL OF CERTIFICATION.-Regulations
under subsection (b) shall-
(1) require that each certification under this
section must be renewed at least once every three
(2) establish procedures and requirements applicable to such renewal applications; and
(3) provide for advance public notice and comment regarding each application for renewal.
SEC. 233. PENALTIES.
A person who violates this subtitle or a regulation
issued under this subtitle is subject to a fine of not more
than $50,000, or imprisonment of not more than one year,
SEC. 234. RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER STATUTES.
Nothing in this subtitle affects the application of the
Endangered Species Act of 1973, the Migratory Bird
Treaty Act, the Bald Eagle Protection Act, the Golden
Eagle Protection Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act
of 1973, National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, or
any other relevant Federal law to wind projects.