Library from Massachusetts
Vineyard Wind already agreed to a nearly $17 million mitigation package in Rhode Island. But it doesn’t look like that will be enough. The fishing industry still has many issues. For example, the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association is worried about the effect these giant towers could have on boat radar, and the impediments that transmission cables could cause.
Advocates and legislators gathered Monday to discuss the threats facing North Atlantic right whales and to call for more conservation efforts.
BOEM spokesman Stephen Boutwell said NMFS is required to co-sign the project’s Record of Decision, a formal decision document, for the permit to be issued. The final environmental impact study and record of decision had originally been expected in April but were later delayed to June and then early July. Boutwell said the agency does not “have a date for these publications at this time.”
The National Marine Fisheries Service is refusing to sign off on an environmental impact report originally expected July 7, Reuters said, citing previously unseen federal documents. Fishing industry representatives want proposed wind turbines farther apart than the currently planned 0.75 nautical mile, want the turbines aligned east-west instead of northwest-southeast, and want compensation for any damage to their livelihoods, according to Reuters.
Locally, Massachusetts and Rhode Island commercial and recreation fishermen continue to be concerned about the lack of habitat and fish studies before development starts in wind farm lease areas.
According to the suit, Chin, a registered real estate broker, had Rosemary Victoria sell the house to Mojica and Grendon, but neither informed the couple that the turbines would likely be built, a violation of state regulations that require the disclosure of information that would influence prospective buyers. “Angela S. Chin and Rosemary Victoria violated this regulation by not disclosing to the plaintiffs that four, massive, wind turbines would soon be constructed on the adjacent lot,” Henchy wrote.
Members of Congress have become involved in trying to move Vineyard Wind forward, a top Baker administration official said Tuesday, as lobbying intensifies to advance what state officials hope will be the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project.
Fishing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. In 2017, over 40 fishermen died while navigating out at sea -- the highest rate of occupational deaths that year. ...Farnham says offshore wind farms will make it worse. That’s because fishermen argue the turbines aren’t spaced far enough apart to allow vessels to safely navigate through them.
A spokesman for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management offered no explanation for the holdup but said more time was needed. The spokesman also noted that the agency was well within the two-year review window for such projects. The two-year review window is up in March 2020 – after construction was scheduled to begin.
Vineyard Wind, the company that's planning to build the state's first offshore wind farm, is facing setbacks for the project of 84 turbines in waters near Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. The Edgartown Conservation Commission voted against approval for transmission cables that Vineyard Wind wants to lay about a mile east of the town. The Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has put off issuing a final environmental impact statement on the wind farm. Sarah Mizes-Tan, a reporter with WGBH’s Cape Cod bureau, spoke with WGBH Radio’s Arun Rath about the wind farm and some of the setbacks. This transcript has been edited for clarity.
The clock is ticking. Vineyard Wind’s utility contracts require the first phase to go online by Jan. 15, 2022. The developer has orders with suppliers lined up that could be jeopardized. There’s also some question about a federal tax credit that expires at the end of 2019. Vineyard Wind has apparently qualified, but that status could be in trouble if certain milestones aren’t met. None of Vineyard Wind’s rivals want to see the project collapse.
The Edgartown conservation commission, in a 5-1 vote, has denied a permit for cables that would pass through the Muskeget Channel.
Project officials late Wednesday announced that they had been informed by the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) that “they are not yet prepared to issue” the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the 800 megawatt project.
“This process is moving too fast, and everyone needs to slow down and make sure we aren’t creating problems for the North Atlantic right whale that can’t be reversed,” Vallorie Oliver of ACK Residents Against Turbines said Tuesday. “This particular animal is clearly struggling, yet it appears that the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, in their rush to clear the path for Vineyard Wind, are forgetting their obligation to protect the whale.”
The Alchemy Farm Neighborhood Association filed a complaint on the commercial use in their midst last fall, which prompted Falmouth Building Commissioner Rod Palmer to issue a cease-and-desist order for the solar operation on Feb. 6. Palmer also issued an order to dismantle a pole barn on the property.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has made a Finding of Adverse Effect (Finding) for the Vineyard Wind Construction and Operations Plan (COP) on the Gay Head Lighthouse, the Nantucket Island National Historic Landmark (Nantucket NHL), submerged paleolandforms as contributing elements to the Nantucket Sound Traditional Cultural Property (Nantucket Sound TCP), and the Chappaquiddick Traditional Cultural Property (Chappaquiddick TCP), pursuant to 36 CFR 800.5. Resolution of all adverse effects to historic properties will be codified in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), pursuant to 36 CFR 800.6(c).
This should be time to party at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. After all, the agency’s underused marine terminal in New Bedford is finally profitable, and a big tenant is on its way. The saga of the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal took an unfavorable turn against the state on Monday when a jury in Suffolk Superior Court ruled that contractors that built the port are owed at least $20 million for unpaid work.
Responses ranged from hosting the turbines to purchasing them. There was also a single offer to purchase the base and leave it onsite for use in constructing a cell tower. The letters are a first step in moving the massive pair beyond town borders.
The Baker administration wants to look into the potential of having one underwater transmission line that could feed electricity generated by multiple offshore wind farms into the regional power grid, but that plan got a cool reception from offshore wind executives attending an industry conference in Boston this week.