Library filed under Impact on Landscape from Massachusetts
The proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm will either make history or destroy it, according to speakers at what could be the last public hearing on the project. Barring a lawsuit sending the project back for more review, yesterday's hearing at Cape Cod Community College's Tilden Arts Center marked the final opportunity for opponents and supporters to be heard on the plan by Cape Wind Associates LLC.
Speaking publicly for the first time on the subject, the Massachusetts Historic Preservation Officer told a federal panel today that impacts from the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm on Native American and other historic sites were "unparalleled" in the state's history.
A federal panel charged with assessing Cape Wind's impact on dozens of historic sites includes an architect, an anthropologist and a Texan who runs one of the nation's largest beer distributors. Last week, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation identified a five-member Cape Wind review panel, as a final federal ruling on the controversial offshore wind farm appears on the horizon.
The discussion over changing the city's wind turbine laws continues. The Planning Board agreed to discuss the proposed amendments to the law at its next meeting on March 17, following a public hearing Wednesday, where abutters of the city's only turbine in the industrial park urged them to take up the review. Others urged city officials not to make setback changes based on an "arbitrary" number and to use data to support any amendments.
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.
Proponents of wind energy state that blade failures, fires and collapse are small in relation to the number of turbines and we should not consider those failures when siting. How does that protect abutting businesses and residents? I witnessed the process steamroll through to develop Port's standards — decreased from what the state models recommended for safe setbacks to property lines for ice throw, blade throw and collapse. Ours is only 150 feet, not even the minimum of 1x turbine height (Mass DOER recommends 1.5x).
Pressure is coming from both sides as the town moves deliberatively toward locating two wind turbines on town-owned land. The Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative, which would lease town land and construct the turbines, needs town action to be taken to move forward with its funding. Yet, residents in the neighborhoods where the turbines would be located say they are not getting the answers promised them.
The decision by the federal gvernment in 2007 to recognize the Mashpee Wampanoag as a historic Indian tribe documents tribal efforts to preserve their rights. The decision relies on extensive evidence, including census records from 1694 ...Gov. Deval Patrick is now pressing President Obama to break this promise and to ignore the federal rights of the Aquinnah and Mashpee Indian tribes.
In a press release sent to news outlets on Friday, Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, chairman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), outlined the tribe's opposition to the Cape Wind project in terms of cultural, religious, and environmental concerns. The press release followed the visit last week of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
Legislation adopted last week by the state Senate that streamlines the permitting process for large-scale wind turbine projects includes language proposed by Sen. Robert L. Hedlund that preserves local control over wetlands and other environmentally sensitive areas. ...Hedlund also included language requiring that siting standards developed by the state Energy Facilities Siting Board are crafted to reflect the unique characteristics of the different regions of the Commonwealth.
Cape Wind's staking a claim on Nantucket Sound seems to belong to the oil wildcatters' era ("There Will Be Wind?"), not the modern age of cooperative development that calls forth a nation's resources not just from its corporations but also its government and research institutions. This is not to say Cape Wind failed to do its homework. It identified and exploited a loophole in the Sound's protection from industrialization, and its scientists made their case that they could produce energy at that site without significant environmental damage.
Today, we are confronted by the crisis of climate change. Descriptions are so fearful, confusing, and occasionally contradictory that it's hard to know what to think. We each try to do what we can to reduce our personal impact on the earth, and ponder how to preserve the planet from a catastrophic fate that could be imminent and irreversible. For many people, renewable energy has become the panacea: producing power from wind, trees, grasses, and the sun.
When the National Park Service declared the 560-square-mile Nantucket Sound eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, all the federal protections of actually being on the list became effective. Yet, as it turns out, these protections have little bearing on existing commercial and recreational activities in Nantucket Sound.
With the clock ticking on the Cape Wind decision, American Indian tribes across the nation are lining up in support of the Wampanoags. The San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona and the 25-tribe coalition known as the United South and Eastern Tribes Inc. have both asked U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to stop the controversial project.
A great disservice will be done to the people of Massachusetts and all others who enjoy the pristine scenery, water sports and solitude of Nantucket Sound by placing an industrial plant in its heart, as intended by Cape Wind and politically correct politicians who want wind energy there regardless of the cost and its effect on national treasures and National Natural Landmarks.
In a new setback for a controversial wind farm proposed off Cape Cod, the National Park Service announced Monday that Nantucket Sound was eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, guaranteeing further delays for the project. ...The park service decision came in response to a request from two Massachusetts Indian tribes, who said the 130 proposed wind turbines would thwart their spiritual ritual of greeting the sunrise, which requires unobstructed views across the sound, and disturb ancestral burial grounds.
I oppose the Cape Wind project, which seeks to despoil and rob us of the pristine nautical legacy bestowed by our forefathers. As a result of the profound damaging regional financial, ecological and public safety consequences Cape Wind would have upon us all, it should not proceed to fruition.
Two industrial wind turbines that failed to garner Planning Board support last summer will be back up for discussion next Wednesday, after their developer agreed to put a court challenge on hold and resubmit the proposal with some modifications. The Planning Board gave the original proposal for two 450-foot turbines, on top of the Graham Waste landfill site off Route 3A, a 3-to-1 approval last June.
Recent hearings in Dartmouth make it clear that the Alternative Energy Committee of the town of Dartmouth is excited about the potential economic benefits of wind turbines. They make a decent argument in favor of having the town get into the new business of being a small utility company ...Unfortunately, this new utility company would plant its primary electricity generating facilities in the middle of a rural residential neighborhood, and for one reason: The town happens to own the land in that location.
With less than one month before Massachusetts environmental officials are expected to sign off on the draft Ocean Management Plan, Vineyard critics were buoyed recently by a letter from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to the state. FWS said the plan lacks an analysis of alternative wind energy areas in federal waters and does not fully address the risks to protected migratory bird species.