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Local Standards for Wind Power Siting: A Look at Model Ordinances

September 2011

Citation: ELR 10825

Author: James M. McElfish Jr. and Sara Gersen

In almost every state, local regulation plays a significant role in wind power siting. To create an effective and predictable regulatory environment, lawyers and environmental professionals will need to help local governments draft and administer ordinances that address the specific issues involved with electric power generation from wind facilities. These topics include visual impacts, safety requirements, setbacks, wildlife and habitat protection, noise, shadow flicker, electromagnetic interference, decommissioning, and other issues. Lessons derived from model ordinances and state siting requirements can help professionals guide local governments as they exercise authority over these areas.

James McElfish is a Senior Attorney and Sara Gersen a Law Fellow at the Environmental Law Institute.

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