USA and Massachusetts
A group of Wampanoag tribes who say they've been cast aside on issues from the Nantucket Sound wind farm to the future of gaming are breaking away to create a new council to deal with state government.
The state-recognized tribes are calling on Gov. Deval Patrick to disband the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs, the current liaison to state tribes.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar journeyed out into Nantucket Sound on a Coast Guard vessel last week to signal the Obama administration's readiness to put some muscle behind wind energy. To do that, Salazar has to resolve a battle over building a wind farm on 25 square miles of open water that has driven a rift between environmentalists, infuriated local Native Americans and threatened one of the administration's cherished priorities.
The Wampanoag Indians of southeastern Massachusetts welcomed the Pilgrims when they arrived on the Mayflower nearly 400 years ago. But now they're trying to stop another newcomer -- wind turbines.
Citing customs and religious practices recorded since the earliest contact with Europeans, two local tribes have blocked, at least for now, America's first planned offshore wind farm and the Obama administration's efforts to promote renewable sources of energy.
The Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) is extending the public comment period on the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the Cape Wind Energy Project for an additional 30 days. The extension is in response to requests from the public for more time to review the document. The MMS released the Cape Wind DEIS for public review on January 11, 2008.
The Minerals Management Service's 800 page Final Environmental Impact Statement on Cape Wind was released on Friday and in a largely favorable review found nearly all impacts to be negligible or minor.
The few exceptions, where the 130 turbine wind farm would potentially or certainly have moderate to major impact were on birds, especially marine birds such as terns or sea ducks, on navigation and safety of recreational or commercial fishing boats, although those effects could be mitigated, and on visual resources of Nantucket Sound.
The final environmental impact statement for the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm will be released tomorrow, according to a notice posted on the Web site of the Office of the Federal Register.
The final report marks a major development in the long-running attempts by Cape Wind Associates, LLC, to build a wind farm in the sound.
With the clock ticking on the Cape Wind decision, American Indian tribes across the nation are lining up in support of the Wampanoags.
The San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona and the 25-tribe coalition known as the United South and Eastern Tribes Inc. have both asked U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to stop the controversial project.