Anticipating Siting Problems

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Anticipating Siting Problems. Lee Paddock Associate Dean for Environmental Legal Studies The George Washington University Law School lpaddock@law.gwu.edu. New Forms of Governance. Environmental problems are very different than they were 20 or even 10 years ago - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Anticipating Siting ProblemsLee PaddockAssociate Dean for Environmental Legal Studies The George Washington University Law Schoollpaddock@law.gwu.edu

  • New Forms of GovernanceEnvironmental problems are very different than they were 20 or even 10 years agoIncreasing understanding that some of these problems, especially species and water quality issues must be dealt with at the ecosystem scale

  • GovernanceThe problems we face require what might be referred to as shared or diffuse governanceGovernment retains a major role and still utilizes traditional command and control tools in a number of circumstances

  • GovernanceGrowing understanding that we cant simply rely on government by itself to solve problems Increasing pressure on companies to be good environmental citizensAnticipating and avoiding problems an increasingly important strategy

  • GovernanceAmong the new approaches are those that rely more on knowledge and collaboration to drive changeThese tools inform and engage the private sector and NGOs to help leverage new ideas, new solutions and new resources to achieve better environmental outcomes

  • Don KettlFive imperatives for a new and more effective governance strategies:A policy agenda that focuses more on problems than on structuresPolitical accountability that works more through results than on processes

  • Five ImperativesPublic administration that functions more organically, through heterarchy [a horizontal form of management in which power is shared], than rigidly through hierarchyPolitical leadership that works more by leveraging action than simply by making decisions

  • 5 ImperativesCitizenship that works more through engagement than remoteness.DONALD F. KETTL, THE NEXT GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES: CHALLENGES FOR PERFORMANCE IN THE 21ST CENTURY 8 (2005), available at http://www.businessofgovernment.org/pdfs/KettlReport.pdf.

  • GovernanceThe approach described by Don Kettl and that are part of the governance challenge are important in thinking about energy sitingI am going to focus on two developments that can advance this new governance concept: Natural Heritage Inventories and Landscape Conservation Copperatives

  • Natural Heritage InventoriesThe Natural Heritage Information System (NHIS) provides information on Minnesota's rare plants, animals, native plant communities, and other rare features.

  • NHIThe NHIS is continually updated as new information becomes available, and is the most complete source of data on Minnesota's rare or otherwise significant species, native plant communities, and other natural features. Its purpose is to foster better understanding and conservation of these features

  • NHIDeveloped in 1974 by the Nature Conservancy to identify species that needed protection before acquiring landNature Conservancy helped establish state programsNHI programs in all 50 states, Canadian and 11 other countries in the AmericasThe umbrella organization is Natureserve

  • NHI HomesMost common home is state natural resources or parks agencies but in Montana it is the state library and in Wyoming it is the University of Wyoming

  • NHI FundingMost states fund the program through a variety of mechanisms including general fund money, hunting and fishing license fees, tax form check offs, license plate revenue and consulting feesNorth Dakota provides no state funding

  • NHI ServicesMost states provide GIS files (referred to as Shapefiles) for the area of interest and many will provide biologists comments on species in the area.South Dakota provides a specific wind generation packet that includes bat identification a nd wind siting regulationsNorth Dakota does not provide biologist comments

  • MinnesotaState law requires a description of habitats and communities threatened or endangered as determined by NHI database for wind farms over 5 megawatts

  • Data Requests Library System Confidentiality

  • NHI ConclusionsNo data on how valuable users found the informationData is for public land but can be indicative of species on nearby private landA lot of use in some states like IdahoRarely mandated

  • NHI ConclusionsCould be a very helpful governance tool in avoiding species disputes if better supported in some states and more widely used in more states

  • Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC)New Department of Interior partnership approach for applying scientific tools to increase understanding of climate change through partnerships with other agencies and with others outside of governmentSecretarys Order 3289, Feb. 2010

  • LCCsPurpose: To coordinate an effective response to its impacts on tribes and on land, water, ocean, fish and wildlife, and cultural heritage resources that the Department manages resulting from climate change

  • LCCPremises:Management responses to the broad impacts of climate change must be coordinated at the landscape level Working partnerships among Interior bureaus and agencies, other federal, state, tribal and local governments, and private landowner partners are needed Linking science to resource management decisions to result in targeted, science-based solutions that can adapt as the information changes will improve outcomes

  • PremisesConservation agencies are inter-dependent on one another as well as on private landowners It is outcomes rather than outputs that matter Resources need to be leveraged and The Agency must strategically target science to inform conservation decisions and actions

  • Map courtesy of the US FWS

  • LCCsSeek to dissolve state boundaries so conservation activities can occur at the scale that matters to speciesOperate as self-directed science partnershipsCreate a forum that will inform and improve conservation delivery on the ground

  • LCCsIntegrate adaptive management concepts to ensure conservation delivery is based on the best scientific data and information availableExpand upon the US FWS Strategic Habitat Conservation program

  • LCCs are NOTRegulatory agenciesOwned or Led by the DOIReplacements for existing partnerships or coalitionsBrand new ways of operatingThey are designed to be shared enterprises

  • Potential LCC ProductsGIS maps of sensitive species habitat rangeInterpretation of climate change models on geographic areasAnticipated species and habitat responses to climate changeRecommendations to provide for species linkage across landscape in response to anticipated climate change changes

  • LCCs and Renewable EnergyBLMs Ecoregions ApproachInternal BLM program to integrate landscape level environmental impacts analysis to public lands managementComplementary to LCCsRapid Ecoregions Assessments

  • ConclusionsVery new programMostly government agencies now, some NGOs and a few private actorsCould be a forum that would help anticipate issues with energy facility siting early on and facilitate resolution of species and habitat conflicts but it is too soon to tell what may happen

    *Montana no data because it is confidential by law because program part of library system

    N. Dakota 1) Almost all the private requests were by three firms, Fed category includes 3 Nonprofit request Private = 163, Fed (+3 Nonprofit) = 7; State = 111S. Dakota 1) Private category includes 1 NGO, 2) covers 2010 Private = 12, Fed = 6, State = 51Wyoming 1) Private category includes consultants, NGO, and academic requests, 2) covers June 2010 June 2011 Private = 148, Fed = 38, state = 10Idaho Private Category Incl City and County (this information was provided as one package and I am unable to disaggregate it) Private = 461, Fed = 414, State = 402Minnesota No Response to Request for Data Yet **