CHICAGO (CBS) — The Obama administration has paved the way for the placement of windmills out in the water in the Great Lakes.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman says the memorandum of understanding will let wind developers know exactly what permits they need to put turbines in Lake Michigan and the other four Great Lakes.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

But Joel Brammier of the Great Lakes Alliance says there are questions that remain, such as whether anyone should put anything on the lake floor.

“They send natural gas pipelines across the bottom of the Great Lakes; oil pipelines; oil drilling under the bed of the Great Lakes,” Brammier said.

Brammier adds that developers have to say what happens in 30 years, when each turbine has turned its last.

“Are we stuck with rusting hulks of wind turbines in the Great Lakes that nobody seems to know how to take care of?” he said.

Federal officials say there are no wind turbine applications pending, but they want to be ready to develop the wind as an energy resource.