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Alt Energy May Get A Pass|on Environmental Impact

WASHINGTON (CN) - Construction of wind turbines, biomass power plants and solar photovoltaic systems are among 20 activities that would no longer require environmental impact statements under a revision of policy proposed by the Department of Energy.

"The growth and development of new technologies in the private and public sectors [since the list was revised in 1996], including energy efficient and renewable energy technologies" led to the proposed list of categorical exclusions, according to the agency. The list reflects activities common to alternative energy development.

Under the National Environmental Protection Act, the agency may grant categorical exclusions for defined classes of actions it has determined "do not, absent extraordinary circumstances, individually or cumulatively have a significant impact on the human environment."

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