Game Commission Wind Energy Voluntary Cooperative Agreement
On April 18, 2007, the Pennsylvania Game Commission signed cooperative, voluntary agreements with 12 companies to avoid, minimize and potentially mitigate any adverse impacts the development of wind energy may have on the state's wildlife resources.
Brokered with substantial input from wind energy industry representatives and assistance from the Pennsylvania Wind and Wildlife Collaborative (PWWC), the Game Commission's "Wind Energy Voluntary Cooperation Agreement" aims to provide guidance and consistency - in the absence of compulsory regulations for private lands - for development of wind turbines sites, which have become one of the state's fastest-growing industries. In addition to the Game Commission, the PWWC is comprised of representatives from the Governor's Office, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, as well as conservation organizations and the wind industry.
This agreement was the product of cooperation and mutual interest to safeguard wildlife resources - as thoroughly and uniformly as possible - by all parties involved. It's understood that the advancement of renewable energy initiatives can create wildlife impacts. But this agreement has established protocols that will pave the way for wind energy development to occur in a more amenable and disciplined manner that is expected to largely satisfy developers and address potential bat and bird impacts identified by the Game Commission's wildlife managers.
The agreement standardizes wildlife monitoring and impact review procedures for primarily migrating raptors - particularly eagles - and bats. It also engenders heightened focus on project sites for direct and indirect impacts to 'priority' breeding wild birds listed in Pennsylvania's Wildlife Action Plan. But if problems for other, more common, species arise, the protocols should identify them.
For more information on the PWWC, visit DCNR's website (www.dcnr.state.pa.us).