Monday, January 26, 2009
With the Obama administration pushing for more alternative energy, many think Pennsylvania is well positioned as wind turbine construction increases over the next few years. At the same time environmentalists are worried what that could do to wildlife. In response the state Game Commission is trying to work with energy companies to make sure the structures don't harm wildlife. Some bat and bird experts say poorly placed turbines can drastically reduce a region's bird and bat population. Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser says the agency is working with more than twenty wind energy companies to find suitable locations. Right now there are no state regulations regarding windmills and wildlife. Feaser says, “We stepped forward to make sure that we were going to do what we needed to do to protect wild birds and mammals. And so far, with few exceptions, the wind energy companies have stepped forward to voluntarily work with us to avoid, minimize and mitigate those impacts on wild birds and mammals, and their habitats.” Feaser says over the past year, companies have voluntarily moved locations out of respect for migration routes at least three times.