Announcement comes after Board of Health decides turbines in Plymouth will affect Bourne residents
BUZZARDS BAY — Bourne officials said Tuesday that they will file a lawsuit against the owner of a wind energy project over the border in neighboring Plymouth.
“There will be a lawsuit that will be filed shortly within Superior Court against Future Generation Wind,” Stephen Mealy, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said Tuesday after the board returned from an executive session to map out a legal strategy against the wind energy company, which is now owned by ConEdison Solutions. The Bourne Board of Health has previously found that the turbines could affect Bourne residents.
After announcing the pending litigation, Mealy asked that members of the public limit comment on the issue while it is being explored.
Officials are trying to balance an understanding of what litigation might entail with a desire not to show their hand, Mealy said.
Future Generation Wind has plans to operate four turbines on a cranberry farm just over the Bourne town line in Plymouth. The entrance to the property is in Buzzards Bay on Head of the Bay Road.
In September Selectmen approved licenses for the company to transport pieces of the turbines through the town to the bog while the Board of Health debated whether it could take legal action against turbines in another town and county.
At a Board of Health meeting in September Future Generation Wind attorney Jonathan Fitch said the turbines may affect about five properties and three homes once the machines are operational. The board asked that the company apply for variances from Bourne because it did not meet the town bylaws regarding turbines. Although he said he wanted to be a good neighbor, the turbines do not have to adhere to Bourne’s rules because they are not in Bourne, Fitch said.
Details about the lawsuit, which would be filed within days, town counsel Robert Troy said, were scarce. More on the case would come to light after the suit is filed in Barnstable Superior Court, Troy said.
“As much as we would like to share the intricacies of the litigation with the public at this time, just as we have discussed in executive session, we have to be cognizant of the fact that the people who are the most interested to learn about what we talked about in executive session are the people who are going to be the defendants in the action,” he said.
“For strategic reasons, we are going to have to limit our discussion to executive sessions with the Board of Health and Board of Selectmen and we will be heard in court,” Troy said.
Three of the four turbines have been completed, ConEdison spokeswoman Christine Nevin said, and the fourth is under construction. There is no set date when they will begin spinning, she said. Nevin was not aware a lawsuit is in the works, she said, but noted the project had received all necessary approvals from the town of Plymouth.