Library filed under Safety from Massachusetts
"A politically based determination of the Cape Wind project by the FAA is an unacceptable use of federal authority, contravenes FAA's statutory mandate and raises significant safety concerns for aviation in Nantucket Sound," they wrote.
McLaughlin said it is hard to believe political influence was not a factor in the FAA's decision, which came a month after U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar approved the project.
In a letter today to FAA chief Michael Huerta, congressmen John Mica (R-Fla.) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) say they have "significant questions" about the role of politics in the agency's approval of the project. "A politically based determination of the Cape Wind project by FAA is an unacceptable use of federal authority, contravenes FAA's statutory mandate, and raises significant safety concerns for aviation in Nantucket Sound," their letter states.
U.S. Sen. Scott Brown yesterday joined the growing chorus of critics calling for a federal probe into Cape Wind, saying officials have been aware of safety concerns "forever" and raising questions about whether the hotly debated Nantucket Sound project was born from "backroom deals."
"FAA has made decisions based on political factors rather than the recommendations of the local aviation community and even its own employees, failing its statutory safety-first mandate," Audra Parker of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound wrote to the inspector general for the federal Department of Transportation.
The town's wind turbine, located at Portsmouth High School, has remained motionless since May 10 after an error code alerted town workers to a problem on site. "The short story is Lumus believes the fault is in a pressure sensor and they are having difficulty locating a replacement part."
This revealing letter to the FAA documents a clear pattern of political pressure on the FAA to rush the review process of Cape Wind thus creating a possibility of threats to air safety and national security. A portion of the letter is provided below. The full letter can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
Dr Hopkins said 150 sports utility vehicles (SUVs) would burn the same amount of oil as a wind farm would save.More than 60 abutters and neighbors filled the seats of the Mayflower Room at Town Hall Wednesday night to hear the Zoning Board of Appeal’s decision on the project. The vast majority opposed the project, despite repeated assurances from engineers that it meets the requirements of the town’s wind energy bylaw.
The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority's wind turbine at the DeLauri Sewer Pump Station will be shut down in the coming weeks as a concrete ring and new piles are installed around the existing foundation. Workers performing a routine inspection of the turbine in February found that its foundation settled faster than expected, according to the authority.
After the crack was analyzed, replacing the blade was considered, but last Wednesday Hyundai engineers decided to remove a section of the blade and replace it with new material, Ruiz said.
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority honchos and engineers met yesterday to figure out a fix for the $4.7 million wind turbine, which started turning in October, only to power down last month when crews discovered it had settled about 2 inches, agency officials said. Possible causes, they said, include soil conditions and vibrations from a sudden shutdown triggered by high winds.
A federal appeals court has rejected the Federal Aviation Administration's ruling that the Cape Wind project's turbines present "no hazard" to aviation, overturning a vital clearance for the nation's first offshore wind farm.
On October 28, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals found the FAA failed to supply any apparent analysis of the record evidence concerning the wind farm’s potentially adverse effects on flight operations. The court vacated all 130 determinations of no hazard issued by the FAA. An excerpt of the court's ruling is provided below. The full order can be accessed by selecting the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
The appeal states that the FAA acted in an "arbitrary and capricious manner" by ignoring evidence submitted demonstrating that the wind turbines would in fact create a hazard to aviation and cause interfere with radar facilities used by air traffic control, failing to consider the cumulative effects of the turbines in Nantucket Sound, and exceeding its own authority.
Two weeks after a number of neighbors said they were not informed about the three-bladed Northwind 100 turbine's location so close to the school, committee members raised their own concerns, saying that somewhere along the way they were excluded from the planning process.
This image shows the location of Nantucket High School's newly sited 100-kilowatt wind turbine. The turbine stands about 160-feet tall including the blade. The radius of the circle is approximately 50 feet. There does not appear to be any safety or fall zone around the turbine to protect students from collapse or blade/ice throw.
Under an agreement with the MOD, if the planning inspector says yes to the windfarm, Enertrag UK would not be able to start building until they had the ‘approved' technology in place to mitigate these safety concerns. A spokesman for the MOD supplied the conditions, which state: "No development shall commence unless and until the planning authority has approved a Radar Mitigation System proposed by the Company and agreed by the MOD."
The town of Barnstable and the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound filed an administrative appeal yesterday requesting that the Federal Aviation Administration reverse its approval of the Cape Wind project.
The Federal Aviation Administration has found that the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm will not be a hazard to air navigation, marking another in a string of wins for the project's developer. Although the FAA previously determined that the 440-foot-tall wind turbines would be a so-called "presumed hazard" to navigation, that finding was considered a placeholder while the agency studied the effects of the wind farm on aviation more closely.
When the 100-foot-tall wind turbine at Bartlett's Ocean View Farm hurled one of its broken blades nearly 200 feet Jan. 18, it was a statistical anomaly. Wind energy experts claim, and statistics seem to show, failure rates are low. But when a second 100-foot-tall turbine, this time in Marstons Mills, shed its blades in a northeaster this Sunday, it seemed to some the start of a troubling trend.