Appalachia's growing wind energy industry lacks comprehensive government regulations to protect birds and other wildlife, according to a new report from congressional investigators.
Scientists do not have enough information to fully understand the potential impacts, according to the review by the U.S. Governmental Accountability Office. No federal regulations exist to control the location of large windpower operations, the GAO said. Federal regulators do little to enforce the few rules that are on the books, the GAO found.
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This is a welcome perspective, and should also include full lifecycle and infrastructure impacts in future to ensure that the complete environmental envelope, not just the wind turbine tower and blades, are considered. This is then in line with other projects involving the deployment of significant infrastructure, including roads, parking lots, buildings and support equipment into potential environmentally sensitive areas.