Deerfield Wind Project

United States Forest Service
Bennington County, Vermont

The Deerfield Wind Project is the first wind energy project to be approved on U.S. Forest Service (USFS) lands. EDR served as an independent third-party contractor to the USFS in their review of the project under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). The project is being developed by Iberdrola Renewables and will include construction of 15 wind turbines on forested ridges in the Manchester Ranger District of the Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF). EDR prepared the draft, supplemental draft, and final Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) for the project pursuant to Section 102 (2)(c) of NEPA. This included preparing responses to more than 500 public comments received on the draft EIS and more than 1,000 public comments on the supplemental draft EIS. In addition, EDR’s role included preparation of a Public Information Plan; significant public outreach; project scoping; coordination with Forest Service staff; review of sub-consultant resource reports for inclusion in the EIS; and preparation of a Biological Evaluation (BE) analyzing potential project impacts to federally-listed endangered, threatened, and proposed species and Regional Forester Sensitive Species. The GMNF Forest Supervisor issued a Record of Decision approving the project in January 2012. This decision has been repeatedly upheld, despite various administrative appeals and challenges in federal court, and project construction could begin as early as 2016.