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Wind Turbine Siting's For the Birds

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As wind farm projects face public scrutiny from Cape Vincent to Clinton, one big concern is the windmills' effects on birds. If you look at the Audubon New York's position on wind farms, you'll see a caveat. The group of bird protectors says it supports wind power in New York...if the turbines are properly sited, away from sensitive habitat and migratory fly-ways. So the question is: who decides if a windmill's in a safe place for birds? Turns out each local town board does. New York is a "home rule" state. Through a complex review process, state environmental officials and a host of other agencies weigh in, but the ultimate decision rests in local hands. David Sommerstein spoke with Steve Tomasick last month at the Sustainable Energy Fair in Canton. Tomasick handles all of New York's wind farm proposals for the Department of Environmental Conservation. He says even the DEC has a hard time making a call.

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