Group Files Suit Against Wind Data Tower

The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound filed suit in Boston this week to stop the construction of a data-gathering tower rig in Nantucket Sound that will facilitate the development of the world’s largest industrial wind turbine complex in a 28-square-mile area of the Sound.

Hyannis, Massachusetts – September 4, 2002 [] The law suit, which was filed in United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, charges that the Army Corps of Engineers has improperly exceeded its authority by granting a permit to a private developer that effectively opens the door to massive wind factory development in public waters. All coastal waters of the United States, not only in Massachusetts, are potentially affected, due to the proliferation of other proposals like this. “This data rig is a Trojan Horse,” said Isaac Rosen, Executive Director of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. “If the data gathering rig is allowed to be built, the private developer will no doubt claim the precedent has been set for the entire project. We are not against legitimate environmental research. We are not against exploring new and clean energy sources. But we are against private development that threatens the environment, despoils the scenic beauty of a State and federally designated marine protected area, and gives away federal lands.” The Alliance – a coalition of concerned citizens, local governments, fishing interests, boaters, environmentalists, wildlife protection activists, Cape taxpayers, and small business owners – charged that the most basic permitting requirements have been ignored in this instance. According to the suit, the Army Corps lacks jurisdiction to award the permit and knew or should have known that the developer had neither a property interest in the public waters, nor any means by which to obtain it. The Alliance also challenged the Corps’s failure to conduct an adequate environmental review or provide an outlet for the strong public concern over the project. Included among the plaintiffs are Cape Cod residents like Ronald Borjeson, who made his career as a commercial fisherman in Nantucket Sound. He said he would be adversely affected personally and economically by the construction of the data tower through the increased danger to navigation in the area of the tower, by the likely reduction in his fishing harvest, and by the degradation of the scenic environment.
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