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Wind power advocates: We'll meet strict environmental rules

The federal program that would allow wind turbines offshore seems to be "very industry-driven," said Jennifer Samson, principal scientist for Clean Ocean Action, following a federal Minerals Management Service workshop on proposed rules. The "MMS acknowledges that they don't know . . . the environmental consequences of this development," said Tim Dillingham, executive director of the American Littoral Society, a Sandy Hook-based coastal conservation group. "They have no standards and a free-for-all approach to this."

The cumulative impacts of potentially hundreds of wind turbines off the coast are worrisome to some environmental activists, but government and industry officials say reviews will be rigorous.

The federal program that would allow wind turbines offshore seems to be "very industry-driven," said Jennifer Samson, principal scientist for Clean Ocean Action, following a federal Minerals Management Service workshop on proposed rules.

The "MMS acknowledges that they don't know . . . the environmental consequences of this development," said Tim Dillingham, executive director of the American Littoral Society, a Sandy Hook-based coastal conservation group. "They have no standards and a free-for-all approach to this."

But Maureen A. Bornholdt, program manager in the MMS' Office of Offshore Alternative Energy Programs, said "I think that it's a vast overstatement to say that it's industry-driven."

"We are moving forward with the best environmental standards that the federal government has to offer" and the program was developed "after a lot of outreach," she said.

The cumulative impact of projects will be considered, she said.

Dozens of government and company officials, activists and... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The cumulative impacts of potentially hundreds of wind turbines off the coast are worrisome to some environmental activists, but government and industry officials say reviews will be rigorous.

The federal program that would allow wind turbines offshore seems to be "very industry-driven," said Jennifer Samson, principal scientist for Clean Ocean Action, following a federal Minerals Management Service workshop on proposed rules.

The "MMS acknowledges that they don't know . . . the environmental consequences of this development," said Tim Dillingham, executive director of the American Littoral Society, a Sandy Hook-based coastal conservation group. "They have no standards and a free-for-all approach to this."

But Maureen A. Bornholdt, program manager in the MMS' Office of Offshore Alternative Energy Programs, said "I think that it's a vast overstatement to say that it's industry-driven."

"We are moving forward with the best environmental standards that the federal government has to offer" and the program was developed "after a lot of outreach," she said.

The cumulative impact of projects will be considered, she said.

Dozens of government and company officials, activists and others gathered on Wednesday at an MMS workshop, hosted by Monmouth University's Urban Coast Institute, to ask questions about proposed offshore alternative energy rules. Bornholdt said the goal is to finalize the rules by year's end.

The rules would govern projects that tap the wind, waves and currents for energy and alternate uses of existing facilities, such as oil platforms. The MMS governs domestic energy production on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, according to its Web site. "The rigor" that the MMS will require developers to go through to site and develop an offshore wind park is extensive, said Jim Lanard, head of strategic planning for Bluewater Wind of Hoboken, which is interested in building a wind turbine project off the Jersey Shore.

"We have a great deal of respect for the MMS commitment to get this right," Lanard said. "While there may be some fine-tuning . . . they are absolutely on the right path."

Michael Mercurio of Long Beach Township, president of Island Wind, said the policy to promote offshore wind is needed and projects will have fishing and other benefits. He thinks it's feasible to have wind turbines that generate more than 1,000 megawatts of electricity off New Jersey.

New Jersey's draft energy master plan projects that the state will need at least 1,000 megawatts of electricity from tapping the wind off the coast. Several hundred wind turbines would be needed.


Source: http://www.app.com/apps/pbc...

AUG 21 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/16650-wind-power-advocates-we-ll-meet-strict-environmental-rules
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