WDFW LogoWashington Department of Fish & Wildlife
  HELP | EMPLOYMENT | NEWS | CONTACT  
WDFW LogoAbout WDFW
Search News Releases

Search mode:
"and" "or"
Search in:
Recent News Releases
(Last 30 days)
All News Releases
Emergency Fishing Rule Changes
Sport Fishing Rule Changes
Fish and Shellfish Health Advisories & Closures
Marine Biotoxin Bulletin
Beach closures due to red tide and other marine toxins
Local Fish Consumption Advisories
Health advisories due to contaminants
Fish Facts for Healthy Nutrition
Information on mercury, PCBs and other contaminants in fish
News Releases Archive
2014
Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr 
May  Jun  Jul  Aug 
Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
2013
Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr 
May  Jun  Jul  Aug 
Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
2012
Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr 
May  Jun  Jul  Aug 
Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
MORE ARCHIVES...
 

WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


May 07, 2009
Contact: Travis Nelson, (360) 902-2390

  Digg it!  StumbleUpon  Reddit

WDFW issues updated guidelines on
wind energy development in Washington

OLYMPIA — Updated statewide guidelines that provide direction on minimizing the impact of wind energy development and operations on wildlife and habitats are now available from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

WDFW’s 2009 Wind Power Guidelines, published this April, are a result of an intensive nine-month stakeholder review process, which included environmental representatives, county planners, wind energy developers, state and federal natural resource managers, biologists, and the public. The guidelines were finalized following a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review.

Originally issued in 2003, the guidelines serve as a comprehensive planning tool, providing long-term opportunities for partnerships between wind power developers and WDFW in the interest of wildlife habitat protection and management, said Greg Hueckel, assistant director for the WDFW habitat program.

“Since they were first published, the guidelines have provided information to permitting agencies and wind-project developers on how to avoid and mitigate species and habitat impacts when siting, building and operating land-based, wind-power facilities,” Hueckel said.

All wind power projects constructed to date in Washington were built following WDFW’s Wind Power Guidelines. The updated version with additional information should be helpful as more projects come on line, Hueckel said.

“Washington state is currently fifth in the nation for wind power production with a total of 999 turbines capable of producing 1,500 megawatts of energy,” he said. To meet the 15 percent renewable energy standard established by voter-approved Initiative 937, the construction of an additional 1,000 megawatts of wind power facilities can be anticipated, Hueckel said.

The guidelines include:

  • Updated, statewide information.

  • Updated mitigation alternatives, including a reference table. Recommendations on habitat mapping and mitigation.

  • Recommendations on conducting baseline and monitoring studies.

  • Steps to take on minimizing impact to habitat and wildlife.

  • Facility reporting and appropriate monitoring protocols.

  • Descriptions of Washington’s nine ecoregions and habitat types.

While WDFW currently has no regulatory authority over the construction of wind-energy facilities, the department serves as Washington’s principal agency on species protection and conservation, Hueckel said. “Our job is to plan ahead and find alternatives that minimize the risk to wildlife and their natural habitat,” he said. “That’s what these guidelines are all about.”

More information is available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hab/engineer/major_projects/wind_power.htm.