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The National Research Council has released a congressionally mandated report - "Environmental Impacts of Wind Energy Projects" - that finds government guidance to help communities and developers evaluate and plan proposed wind energy projects lacking. The report offers an analysis of the environmental benefits and drawbacks of wind energy, along with an evaluation guide to aid decision-making about projects.

As a case study, the committee that wrote the report looked at the mid-Atlantic highlands, a mountainous area that spans parts of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Currently, federal regulation of wind projects on private land is minimal, and national-level policies to enhance the benefits of wind energy and minimize any negative impact from its development would help guide state and local regulatory efforts, the report says. The report was sponsored by the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The full report is available at nap.edu.


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