Monday, August 8, 2011

Comments Filed on Revised Wind Guidelines Urging FWS to Comply with FACA

Last week, we submitted comments on behalf of Friends of Blackwater Canyon, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Animal Welfare Institute, and the Wildlife Advocacy Project, on the Revised Draft Voluntary Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines prepared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). In May 2011 we had submitted detailed comments on the previous draft of the wind guidelines; however in developing the revised guidelines, FWS has largely ignored and entirely failed to respond to public comments. Our comments highlight the fact that FWS has apparently weakened the guidelines in light of pressure from the industry-dominated Wind Turbine Guidelines Federal Advisory Committee - for example, the revised guidelines now require FWS to review wind energy project proposals within a truncated 60 day period. Further, our comments emphasize that the manner in which FWS is working with the Committee is a flagrant violation of the public access mandate of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (“FACA”) because while it is evident that the Committee has been working with FWS in developing the guidelines, the public has not been provided with complete and accurate information regarding the same. More information on the guidelines can be found here: