Vineyard Wind to Seek Superseding Order from MassDEP
US offshore wind developer Vineyard Wind will request a superseding order from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to overturn denial of the project’s application before the Edgartown Conservation Commission.
As reported earlier, the Edgartown Conservation Commission denied the permit for cables that would connect the first large-scale US offshore wind farm to the grid in a 5-1 vote after fishermen cited potential detrimental marine effects.
“Vineyard Wind always places a priority on working with local communities, and was fully responsive to all information requests received from the Edgartown Conservation Commission,” said Erich Stephens, Chief Development Officer for Vineyard Wind.
“We are disappointed in the Commission’s decision, which was flawed, inconsistent with the evidence before it, and in contrast to the conclusions of many other regulatory authorities. Vineyard Wind unfortunately has no choice but to request a superseding order from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.”
Vineyard Wind stressed that the project provided the Edgartown Commission with a detailed, comprehensive filing, then responded to all additional requests for information. In addition, the Commission had access to the project’s Construction and Operations Plan, was provided the decommissioning section of the federal draft Environmental Impact Statement, received confirmation that the project would not impact endangered species from the state’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, and received a copy of all documents associated with the Environmental Impact Report certified by the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act (MEPA) office, the developer said. The project was approved by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission in May 2019.
“Vineyard Wind is confident that a thoughtful deliberation of the wealth of available scientific information regarding the project will convince the DEP to issue an order of conditions that ensures local environmental protections while advancing a project that is poised to make a difference in an era of global climate crisis that is impacting New England’s shoreline and fisheries,” said Stephens.
Earlier this month, the project faced another setback after the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) informed Vineyard Wind that it is not yet prepared to issue the final Environmental Impact Statement for the 800MW offshore wind project.
Scheduled to be operational in 2021, the Vineyard Wind offshore wind farm will comprise 84 MHI Vestas 9.5MW turbines installed some 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. The construction of the wind farm is planned to start this year.