FRANCISCO - The Sierra Club sued the Department of Defense on
Wednesday, saying its failure to complete a key study has stopped
construction of more than a dozen wind farms in the Midwest. <>
Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and the Pentagon missed a May deadline for
a study on whether the wind farms interfere with military radar,
according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
Windmills are seen Wednesday, June 28, 2006, near Livermore, Calif. The
Sierra Club sued the U.S. Department of Defense in federal court
Wednesday for allegedly halting construction of new wind farms across
the United States by failing to complete a study on whether they
interfere with military radar. The suit filed in U.S. District Court
claimed that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon missed
a deadline for completing a study that is holding up permits for more
than a dozen wind farm projects in the Midwest. 'The end result is the
wind industry is being crippled,' said attorney Kristin Henry of the
Sierra Club. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
The Federal Aviation Administration has halted projects in Minnesota,
Wisconsin, Illinois, North Dakota, and South Dakota until the agency
can determine their impact on the radar. >
"The end result is the wind industry is being crippled," said Kristin Henry, attorney of the Sierra Club.
departments of Defense and Homeland Security announced in March they
would contest any proposed wind turbines that fell within the "radar
field-of-view" of long-range air defense systems.
"Our goal is
not to put up roadblocks to these wind farms but to preserve the safety
of our airspace," spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said.
construction on wind farms could make developers ineligible for federal
tax credits available until the end of 2007, Henry said.
over the study has created an "uncertain situation" for developers
considering new wind farm projects, said Christine Real de Azua,
spokeswoman for the American Wind Energy Association.
became the second-greatest source of new power generated in the United
States last year after natural gas, according to the group.