At the Center
The Conservation Law Center provides legal counsel without charge to conservation organizations, works to improve conservation law and policy, and offers law students clinical experience in the practice of law and the profession's public service tradition.
CLC Comments on the Draft Upper Great Plains Wind Energy
Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
May 21, 2013
The CLC has submitted comments (together with American Bird Conservancy) on the Draft Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Western Area Power Administration are jointly seeking to streamline the environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act for wind energy development in the six state UGP region. For wind facilities seeking to interconnect to Western’s transmission system or for wind facilities seeking accommodation on FWS-managed easements, the agencies are proposing to require implementation of certain best management practices, avoidance measures, and mitigation as a condition to tiering to the PEIS. The CLC's comments emphasized the need for stricter avoidance and minimization measures, clearer best management practices, stronger mitigation requirements, and site-specific consultation under the ESA for listed species. Additionally, the CLC stressed the lack of relevant data in the agencies' discussion of potential impacts to wildlife and habitat, focusing particularly on the need for revisions to the avian and bat mortality estimates. The comments also highlighted the inadequacy of the PEIS's cumulative impacts section, noting that the analysis should be reexamined rather than left for the tiered site-specific analysis.
CLC Proposes Updates to Indiana Water Management Policies
February 19, 2013
In response to the recommendation of the Indiana Sustainable Natural Resources Task Force, and in collaboration with members of the Indiana General Assembly, the CLC developed legislation to update Indiana's water management policies. Currently, water management decisions related to flood control, drainage, and water supply planning are the responsibility of a number of different state and local entities. These agencies employ different procedures and apply different standards to the decisions they make. And there is no comprehensive plan for securing water supply. The new draft legislation would establish an Indiana Water Management Authority to consolidate permitting and planning decisions. The Administrator of the Water Management Authority, in partnership with nine regional water management councils, would also be tasked with developing a statewide policy plan for Indiana's water resources. This draft legislation has been introduced in the Indiana House of Representatives by Representative Mike Karickhoff and in the Indiana Senate by Senator Richard Young.
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