Articles filed under Impact on Wildlife from Massachusetts

MMS gives Cape Wind favorable review except for birds, navigation and visual impacts

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.
20 Jan 2009

Public help sought in tracking sick bats

Massachusetts and Vermont wildlife officials are asking the public to help identify bats affected by a mysterious illness known as white nose syndrome. This time of year, bats are normally hibernating in caves and in abandoned mines across the Northeast. But researchers are getting reports of bats weakly flying around in broad daylight or dying on decks and in backyards.
19 Jan 2009

First offshore wind farm is meeting stiff resistance

The fate of what would be the nation's first offshore wind farm is calling attention to the political obstacles facing renewable power, despite President-elect Barack Obama's determination to greatly expand its use. The project, called Cape Wind, is a Boston firm's plan to build 130 windmills across 25 square miles of federal waters off Cape Cod. ...A spokesman for the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound says the group sees "lots of room to protest" the government review.
13 Jan 2009

Russian roulette, Cape Wind style

There is a face-off brewing between two federal agencies over the fate of birds in Nantucket Sound, centering on the Cape Wind energy project. At issue is whether the U.S. Minerals Management Service defers to the cautionary advice of its expert peer, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, or will it ramrod the Cape Wind project forward, driven by political considerations? ...In the apparent hurry to permit the Cape Wind project this year, Minerals Management seems poised to ignore the Fish & Wildlife Service. Citizen action is needed to get the message across to Minerals Management: "Proceed with caution. Do not play 'wind turbine Russian Roulette' with endangered species. Move Cape Wind elsewhere, out of harm's way!"
15 Aug 2008

In Cape Wind storm of letters, two raise eyebrows

By the time federal regulators stopped accepting public comments about the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm on Monday, two of the letters had already raised some eyebrows among the project's critics. That's because the two letters were signed by the same person, state Division of Marine Fisheries director Paul Diodati, but they struck noticeably different tones. ...Diodati's first letter [dated Feb. 20] spells out the loss of access that fishermen could face as well as concerns about rescue crews reaching a troubled boat in the area. But the second letter, dated March 7, tones down the rhetoric considerably, reducing the section that lists the potential impacts to fisheries to just a few sentences. The section also mentions a couple of possible benefits, such as certain species becoming attracted to the newly built tower foundations.
26 Apr 2008

Wind and its woes

There is nothing "laughable" about the biological significance of avian mortalities by wind turbines. As Donald Michael Fry, Ph.D., director of pesticides and birds program of the American Bird Conservancy testified to Chairwoman Bordello and members of the House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans during the Oversight Hearing "Gone with the Wind: Impacts of Wind Turbines on Birds and Bats" on May 1, 2007: "While the actual number of birds killed by wind turbines is unknown, estimates have been made in the range of 30,000 to 60,000 per year at the current level of wind development."
25 Apr 2008

Impacts on birds, boaters are cited in MMS report

But the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound cites more than a few environmental impacts in the DEIS that it believes the Minerals Management Service and the rest of the agencies reviewing the massive project need to pay closer attention to. Impacts on birds, scenic views, navigation, fish species, fishing and boating all received a moderate rating from the MMS. The Alliance also calls into question what it terms the excessive cost of Cape Wind's wind energy and air travel hazards over Nantucket Sound in proximity to the wind farm. Alliance President and CEO Glenn Wattley said the Alliance is working now to examine each impact that was given a moderate characterization by the MMS and figure out ways to address them. "We've been retaining experts," he said. "We have 40 experts on these topics, they are going over the topics [and] we're spending quite a bit of money putting together a professional response for the public comment period," he said.
30 Jan 2008

Wind farm's impacts aren't minor to locals

The federal draft report on Cape Wind tries to evaluate the impacts of this massive project. Most issues are classified as minor, ignoring local sentiment. ...The transfer of over $1 billion from taxpayers' hard-earned money to the developer is also a major issue for taxpayers. Let's look at the impacts of this industrial scale project through the eyes of the affected and not the eyes of strangers living far from the Cape and isolated from its impacts. Locals need to speak up now before it's too late.
27 Jan 2008

Blood Money: MMS Report on Cape Wind project opens door to 7 Million Dollar Contract

Is the Massachusetts Audubon Society, with a mission to protect birds, selling them out for a contract worth over 7,000,000 dollars to monitor their deaths? ...The saga of the Massachusetts Audubon Society and the Cape Wind project continues with the January 14, 2008 release of the MMS Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Massachusetts Audubon's lack of follow through on its Challenge to Cape Wind and its permitting agencies, to "Get it right." According to a story written by reporter Beth Delay of the Boston Globe on January 15, 2008, just one day after the DEIS release, Jack Clarke, director of public policy and government relations for the Massachusetts Audubon Society is satisfied that the MMS Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Cape Wind project has addressed the groups concerns, ""They (MMS) have done an adequate and thorough job of reviewing the potential environmental impacts with regard to avian life" he said." It would seem Mr. Clarke has conveniently forgotten "The Mass Audubon Challenge" clearly stated publicly in the media.
20 Jan 2008

A windy dilemma

However, residents should not view Minuteman's $220,000 carrot as a magic bullet to solve the town's fiscal woes. The payments wouldn't start until the turbines are in use - and that's at least three years down the road. Given the progress of other projects in this state, three years is a decidedly optimistic estimate. The Transcript has generally been against the development of large windmill projects in the Berkshires, largely because of their environmental impact and because of the lack of a cohesive plan on where to site them. We are still undecided about the merits of this particular project ...The townspeople are the ones who will have to live with the turbines. We urge them to consider carefully all the pros and cons before casting their votes at the Jan. 3 special town meeting to consider the Minuteman bylaw.
20 Dec 2007

Wind farm would sacrifice bay for profit

Mr. Cashman's attempt to sneak past the Massachusetts House of Representatives an amendment to the Ocean Sanctuaries Act as part of a recently passed energy bill shows just what kind of tactics he is willing to resort to in order to build his wind farm. This amendment would clear a major impasse for the development of large-scale industrial wind power plants along the Massachusetts coast. ...In case you are not familiar with it, the Ocean Sanctuaries Act designates approximately 85 percent of Massachusetts state waters as ocean sanctuaries. There is good reason for this. We are fortunate to live in an area of some of the most pristine waters off the coast, but it is also a very fragile ecosystem. Mr. Cashman and proponents of his project would have you believe that it would have no negative effects on the Bay. How is this even logical? First of all, the only way not to affect the Bay is to do nothing; in other words, things stay the same. I certainly can't see how a large-scale industrial power plant could be positive for the condition of the bay, and to say it would have no affect at all is ludicrous. ...This is not about spoiling the view of some rich people. It is about one rich person, Jay Cashman, and him making himself richer. This is about much more than a "NIMBY attitude." It is about preserving a natural treasure, Buzzards Bay.
9 Dec 2007

Subverting the process

It's good policy, of course, to encourage renewable energy, and it's also good policy to protect our state waters. When two goods collide, special care must be taken. Was this amendment preceded by thoughtful discussion, expert testimony or scientific findings? Of course not. It arrived late, wasn't posted, and was then wrapped into a bundle of amendments for a voice vote. ...The Senate ...should reject the House's hasty ocean sanctuary override.
26 Nov 2007

Opposition to Cape Wind not about view

As my public statements make clear, I oppose the Cape Wind project because of the numerous unanswered questions about its impact on local fisheries, navigational safety and the local environment and economy. We are now facing the prospect of a private developer essentially seizing, on a no-bid basis, 25 square miles of public lands and waters. I believe that such a project should not go forward until national standards for off-shore wind farms are in place to protect coastal communities. Even though the Worcester Telegram & Gazette disagrees with me on this issue, it does a disservice to its readers when it ignores the detailed arguments I have made against proceeding with this project.
9 Sep 2007

Wind Sock 08/24/07

Following a public hearing yesterday, the Cape Cod Commission voted to recommend a new adjudicatory process for Development of Regional Impact reviews of energy-related facilities under the jurisdiction of the state Energy Facilities Siting Board. Commission chair Bob Jones of Sandwich advised with a smile that he could save some "heartburn" for audience members by announcing that language making the changes applicable to the Cape Wind project would not be included. Actually, he probably just shifted the upset from backers of the project to its opponents. The latter had hoped Commission action would have established a process that would satisfy the EFSB's standards.
25 Aug 2007

Fishermen fight Cape Wind with new campaign

The state's largest commercial fishing organization is publicly challenging assertions by the developer of the Cape Wind project that their offshore wind energy project will actually improve fishing in Nantucket Sound. The Massachusetts Fishermen's Partnership (MFP), which is comprised of 18 commercial fishing organizations, decided to take its message to the airwaves in a TV commercial now appearing on several channels, said Executive Director David Bergeron, "because the public needs to know that sustainable commercial fishing would be impacted and displaced" by the Cape Wind development project on Horseshoe Shoal.
22 Aug 2007

South Coast Wind developer cautiously optimistic after bird report

NEW BEDFORD - The Boston developer who wants to build a 300-megawatt wind farm in Buzzards Bay called the results of preliminary bird studies "encouraging" but said it is too early to determine whether threats to endangered terns that nest and feed in the bay could kill the $750 million project. "I am fifty-percent comfortable," said Jay Cashman of Patriot Renewables, LLC., a renewable energy subsidiary of his construction company, Jay Cashman Inc.
11 Jul 2007

Cape Wind Farm and the destabilization of Nantucket Sound

These are possible ruinous scenarios that could plunge Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket into economic ruin without fuel, food, medical supplies and tourist dollars able to reach the islands. The result of the relocation of millions of cubic yards of sand will foul the shipping channels leaving the deepest water in Nantucket Sound in and around the 130 Cape Wind Farm turbine foundations. The plot thickens. Cape Wind completes the project, sells the wind farm, pockets millions, moves on without any accountability for what they have left behind. The new owners may say at some point, “This is not working” and abandon the wind farm leaving behind 130 concrete foundations built to specifications that surpass the construction of the World War II observation towers that still dot the eastern shoreline. To date, no one has been able to remove one of these towers. Nantucket Sound will have 130 of these monoliths, a transformer platform with thousands of gallons of cooling oil and hundreds of miles of power cables dangling in several fathoms of water — Horseshoe Shoal is gone! If attempts were made to remove this industrial complex, the blasting concussions and nitrates in the water will kill all marine life in Nantucket Sound. Disaster is only a signature away.
2 Feb 2007

Profiting from avian deaths

Few are aware of the staggering profit by way of contracts payable to avian specialists in an industry borne from wind towers that kill birds. This service industry is referred to as "Adaptive Management," and/or "long-term environmental monitoring." Its value is $2 million to $3 million first year startup for a wind project, based on the value of Altamont, Calif., wind tower monitoring contracts. These contracts represent $1 million per year paid to the monitor during construction phase, and impose terms as Mass Audubon has in their "Challenge" press release: "We also propose adoption of an Adaptive Management Plan that includes a rigorous monitoring program beginning at the construction phase and continuing for at least three years post-construction." ..........Mass Audubon is in a position to profit by counting bird carcasses, "monitoring," while attempting to "solve" this problem; the industry term for this is "mitigation," if Cape Wind is permitted and construction begins.
26 Jan 2007
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