Public Meetings Scheduled to Discuss Proposed Cape Wind Farm

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hold public meetings on March 6 and 7 as part of the process for preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed wind farm power generation field between Cape Cod and Nantucket, Massachusetts.

CONCORD, Massachusetts 2002-03-04 [] Cape Wind Associates (CWA) applied to the Corps for a Section 10/404 Individual Permit for the installation and operation of 170 offshore wind turbine generators in federal and state waters off the coast of Massachusetts in Horseshoe Shoals in Nantucket Sound. The Corps determined that an EIS will be required for this proposed project. Public “scoping” meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, March 6 at 1:30 p.m. (registration to begin at noon) in the JFK Federal Building, Conference Room C, 55 New Sudbury St., Boston, Massachusetts. and Thursday, March 7 at 6:30 p.m. (registration to begin at 5:30 p.m.) in the Mattacheese Middle School, 400 Higgins Crowell Road in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts. CWA proposes to generate up to 420 MW of Renewable Energy that will be distributed to the New England regional power grid, including Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. The power will be transmitted to shore via a submarine cable system to a landfall site in Yarmouth. The proposed wind turbine array would occupy about 28 square miles in an area of Nantucket Sound known as Horseshoe Shoals between Nantucket Island and the Cape Cod mainland. The project has received local opposition, notably from the Cape’s major newspaper, The Cape Cod Times as well as the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. The Corps of Engineers, the lead federal agency on the federal EIS process, will work closely with Massachusetts officials in conducting its own Environmental Impact Review (EIR) of the project, required under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act. “The Corps will conduct an open scoping and public involvement process during the development of the EIS,” said Larry Rosenberg, the Corps’ New England District Public Affairs Officer. “Scoping is the process for determining the range of issues to be addressed and for identifying significant issues or areas that would be analyzed in depth in the EIS. Scoping meetings are open to everyone and the public is encouraged to participate and express their views and concerns. We welcome an open forum and exchange of information throughout this whole EIS process.” The EIS is being coordinated with numerous state and federal agencies. Their input will be included in the EIS. The normal time to conduct an EIS is about 18-36 months depending on the complexity of the information that needs to be gathered. “The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on the findings of the EIS and based on an evaluation of the probable impact of the proposed activity on the public interest,” said Christine Godfrey, the Corps’ New England District Regulatory Division chief. “That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. “The benefits which may reasonably accrue from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments,” Godfrey said. “The EIS process will make all this information available. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered, including the cumulative effects.”
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