Douglas plans public hearings on wind turbine placement

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(Host) Governor Jim Douglas says he wants to hear from the public before his administration drafts a policy concerning the siting of wind turbines on state owned land. Douglas says the Agency of Natural Resources will hold eight public meetings throughout the state during the next two months to take public testimony on this issue.

The governor says a balance needs to be found between two important concerns:

(Douglas) “It’s really a clash of values. The value of encouraging renewable energy sources, generating energy from a source that is renewable and non-polluting, and the aesthetic concerns that are quite legitimate from people that are concerned about the impact on the view sheds of our state.”

(Host) ANR Secretary Wibs McClain says there are a lot of environmental factors that need to be considered before a state policy can be finalized:

(McClain) “Habitat is certainly one. The impact of building roads and the impact of siting turbines in a place where they may be subject to bird and bat migration routes. Whether or not that has an impact on habitat for various species and recreational aspects are something else as well that need to be concerned.”

(Host) The Douglas administration hopes to have draft policy ready for review by the spring.

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