Congress Pressures FAA To OK Wind Farms

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Representatives in both houses of Congress are lobbying the FAA and the Department of Defense to remove the FAA's roadblock to the development of major wind farm projects across the country. The FAA said recently it wouldn't OK the projects until the DoD completes its study of their impact on radar returns. The study was due in May but it's late, and no revised due date has been set. Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) is asking others in the Senate to sign on to his letter urging the FAA to resolve the issue, The Associated Press reported on Monday. A letter from the House went to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld last week with more than 20 signatures. Proposals in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Illinois have been stalled by the FAA's position. Studies have shown that the turbines do affect radar returns, just as any large towers do, but whether that is a problem depends on how it's managed.