Efforts to find a compromise between the wind-energy industry and the safety of military aircraft flying near the industry’s turbine towers advanced in a bill approved by a House committee on Wednesday.
Viewed as a work in progress, a new version of House Bill 574 introduced in the House Energy and Public Utilities Committee was praised as a step in the right direction, but drew criticism from environmental regulators, military-related groups and legislators.
The bill advanced on a split vote, and heads next to the House Homeland Security Committee, the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee and the Rules Committee.
Changes introduced on Wednesday include giving the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs the authority to issue permits to wind-farm proposals if it determines there would be no significant adverse impact on military activities.
The legislature established a permitting process for wind facilities in 2013.