Cape Wind Farm Comment Window Closes

[] Another chapter has come and gone for the tumultuous development ride of what could be the first offshore wind farm in US waters. On February 24, the Army Corps of Engineers officially closed their open public comment period regarding their environmental impact review of the proposed 420 MW Cape Wind project, which would be sited off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Since it was first proposed, the project has garnered both praise and fierce opposition alike — and both rose to full force with the close of the public comment period. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), Clean Power Now, the Conservation Law Foundation, Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, and the Massachusetts Climate Action Network strongly endorsed the project, saying the project will improve New England’s energy system, create jobs, protect public health, and combat climate change. The proposed wind plant also won the backing of the Maritime Trades Council of New England. The project’s detractors made their views known including, perhaps most vociferously, Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly who is threatening to file suit against the Corps if they approve the project. The project is technically in Federal waters, giving the Corps regulatory oversight, but that hasn’t stopped opponents at the state level from rallying against it. Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and the state’s influential US Senator Ted Kennedy are firmly against the project. The Cape Cod Commission expressed doubt with the validity and accuracy of the Corps’ review process, and similar questions were raised by the Environmental Protection Agency. A final decision from the Corps is expected by the end of the summer.
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