Alternative energy facility siting policies for urban coastal areas: executive summary of findings and policy recommendations.




Morell, D.
Singer, G.

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U.S. Department of Energy.


Energy and environmental policy constantly confront conflicting goals in pursuit of an amorphoud national interest. Urgent policy decisions must be made in the face of imcomplete data and competitive demands from powerful interest groups. Nowhere are these dilemmas more apparent than at the confluence of energy facility siting, coastal zone management, and urban development. Alone, each of these three policy areas poses difficult choices between growth, equity, and environmental preservation. When an energy facility is the scene of revitalization, the pressures become intense. Along the coast, rural and urban interests are often in conflict. The Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 and most state coastal laws have been framed with a distinct emphasis on preservation of rural and recreational areas. Their principal objective is to protect fragile wetlands, unspoiled beaches, and sand dunes from the effects of residential and commercial development and from the impacts of new energy and industrial facilities. Although some mention of the urban coast can be found in most of these statutes, their main impact has been to shift siting of these facilities with major environmental impacts away from the rural coast, and thus presumably into urban areas. Urban revitalization groups, on the other hand, have resisted inroduction of such facilities along city waterfronts incompatible with the human uses they envision for the future. Those seeking sites for energy facilities thus find themselves whipsawed from one area to the other.


21 p.


coastal zone, coastal zone management, environmental impact, government policy, urbanization, environment management, energy resources, energy, legislation, coastal resources