Library filed under Impact on Wildlife from Massachusetts
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Both supporters and opponents of the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm are hailing the findings of recent research on the environmental impact of Danish offshore wind turbines. Supporters of Cape Wind Associates' plan to build 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound say the research released last week at an international conference supports their contention that wind farms pose little threat to wildlife. But Cape Wind foes say the Danish research highlights the need to carefully study the environmental impact of offshore wind turbines on a case-by-case basis.
Five years ago, when developers applied for a federal permit to build the world’s largest offshore wind-energy project off the Cape Cod coast, a widely held presumption was that the project ought to go forward because wind power is inherently good and that Nantucket Sound was as good a place as any to begin the off-shore renewable energy movement. But the Cape Wind project hasn’t moved forward and remains mired in controversy as evidence piles up that its developers chose perhaps the worst location. So, instead of leading the renewable energy movement into the future, Cape Wind may be imperiling that very movement by ignoring legitimate and serious flaws in its project.
The Cape Wind project is proposed for an ecosystem and aviary corridor with documented endangered species, and that is under current and conflicting use as an essential fish habitat. “Clean, green, renewable” is not benign when it represents an industrial-scale wind facility comparable in scale to a land area the size of Manhattan Island proposed to be introduced into this ecosystem. The magnitude of the Cape Wind project, along with the fact that this is nascent technology, merits deep consideration. One consideration that must be evaluated is the objectivity of any agency involved in the permit review process. If, as example, Mass Audubon has a financial stake, for whatever reason, in the outcome of any inquiry, such as the process of accounting for any wildlife mortality that stems from a major power plant such as Cape Wind, then that is a prima facie reason to question the objectivity of the subsequent analysis. That Mass Audubon, or any of its members, would profit from a project it was reviewing, should clue any reasonable observer that the results might be tainted. Mass Audubon’s “preliminary approval” of Cape Wind is taken at face value: “no harm to birds.”
The phrase ''not permittable'' is typically the last thing a developer wants to hear. But that's exactly what the state environmental office has called Boston construction magnate Jay Cashman's proposal to build a 120-turbine offshore wind farm in three clustered Buzzards Bay sites. If Cashman wants to pursue his renewable energy plan, he ''proceeds at the risk of denial'' because the sites fall within the Cape and Islands Ocean Sanctuary, according to a certificate written by former Secretary of Environmental Affairs Stephen Pritchard that lays out the state's scope of review over the project.
A Romney administration report has concluded that a proposal by a prominent Boston developer to build up to 120 wind turbines off Buzzards Bay would violate state law and could threaten an endangered species of bird.
Boston construction giant Jay Cashman wants to build a massive wind farm in pristine Buzzards Bay, but says there is one potential obstacle. "The one thing I am concerned about is birds," Mr. Cashman told a group in Fairhaven when he unveiled his $750 million renewable energy project earlier this month.
BUZZARDS BAY — Researchers at Massachusetts Maritime Academy are studying how the school's new 241-foot wind turbine is affecting the flight patterns of birds that fly around the windy campus.
Mr. Nye's paean to the electric companies aside, these huge industrial generators are not silent, they are not intelligent, and they are most certainly not friends to the environment.
Before Cape Wind can build turbines on the sound, it first must prove to skeptics - and the state - that, among other things, the 417-foot-tall towers won't harm birds.
The Sierra Club will announce its conditional support today for the Nantucket Sound wind farm, saying it would provide clean energy without posing a significant threat to wildlife habitat or birds.
While Mass Audubon's primary expertise is bird life, we also believe that other potential impacts are important and should be examined.
Your [Boston Globe] front page headline of March 29, "Audubon review supports wind farm" was a rush to judgment according to Vernon Lang, supervisor of Fish and Wildlife’s New England field office, the agency lead official on the Cape Wind proposal. Editor's Note: This letter has been submitted to the Boston Globe.
The Massachusetts Audubon Society gave its preliminary blessing yesterday to a large-scale wind power project off Cape Cod, saying its studies show that turbine blades are not likely to cause significant harm to birds, as the group had once feared.......But the group said its final decision will hinge on additional research of several bird species.