Impact on Landscape and Massachusetts
U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's approval of the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm this week prompted a wave of legal threats from opponents who argue the decision violates the Endangered Species Act and other laws.
One possible suit even contends the project could hurt endangered right whales. That suit, however, is only one of several possible challenges to the plan by Cape Wind Associates to build 130 wind turbines in the Sound.
A federal agency on historic preservation has recommended that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar reject a proposed massive wind energy project in Nantucket Sound - an area that is sacred to the Wampanoag nations and qualifies for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
On April 2, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation issued a seven-page report of its findings and recommendation to deny permits to Cape Wind Associates to construct a wind energy plant.
Despite high-profile Washington meetings and a junket to the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard last month, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has failed to resolve a dispute about Cape Wind’s potential impact on the historical preservation of Nantucket Sound.
Instead, Salazar kicked the matter to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
State historical preservation officer Brona Simon spoke out against the Cape Wind turbine project proposed for Nantucket Sound during a hearing in Barnstable on Monday.
She noted that the project is 24 to 25 square miles. "You can see the concern we have with the adverse effects of the proposal," she said. "The visual element will alter the setting outside the character of the historic properties."
Could the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm become obsolete before it is even built? ...technological advances in recent years are allowing developers elsewhere to consider building wind turbines farther from shore, where they would be less visible. ...If these and similar projects prove viable, some wind energy specialists and developers say, they could leapfrog closer-to-shore projects like Cape Wind.
A third wind turbine has received City Council's seal of approval.
Compared to the matched set of giants that will rise nearly 500 feet from a central high point in Blackburn Industrial Park and help Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates cut into its annual $2 million energy bill, the single tower authorized by the council last week is small.
But the top of the blade, as designed, would be 180 feet above the granite ledge on which developer Mac Bell intends to construct an office building containing numerous "green" innovations other than the turbine. ...If it is built, Bell's smaller turbine will be much more obvious than Varian's to those coming into the city, since it would stand on the east bank of the Annisquam River...
Hearing of the map from her neighbor, Nan Cook couldn't believe it.
Drafted by the city's former planning director, Nancy Colbert, last March, the map shows possible locations where wind turbines could be placed in the industrial park. There are about 22. ...Cook, who lives on Hill Street, called the possibility of adding 22 more turbines to the industrial park "insane."
Lawsuits will be filed on behalf of a coalition of environmental groups - including the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, Three Bays Preservation, Animal Welfare Institute, Industrial Wind Action Group, Californians for Renewable Energy, Oceans Public Trust Initiative (a project of the International Marine Mammal Project of the Earth Land Institute), Lower Laguna Madre Foundation - against the federal Fish and Wildlife Service and Minerals Management Service for violations of the Endangered Species Act. ..."It is a shame that the Obama Administration chose political expediency over developing a project in an environmentally responsible place that can actually be built," said Parker.
"Without merit" was how she described complaints by builder J.K. Scanlon Co., the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the college, that the Barnstable OKH had not considered the energy advantages of the project and that members of the local committee demonstrated a bias against the turbine.