The road for Cape Wind Associates may get smoother if proposed regulations released yesterday by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection pass muster.
The new rules open the way to designate as “water dependent” the transmission lines Cape Wind needs to connect to the electric grid from 130 wind turbines the company wants to build on Nantucket Sound.
Should the changes to the state’s waterways regulations go into effect, Cape Wind would not be required to seek a variance as it would have if the cables were declared non-water dependent.
“That always struck us as bad policy and also nonsensical in the sense that an offshore wind farm is by definition water dependent,” Cape Wind spokesman Mark Rodgers said last night.
The changes are part of an effort by Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration to streamline the application process for permits under the state’s environmental regulations, said DEP spokesman Ed Coletta.
Other adjustments include changes to the wetlands appeals process, air and groundwater discharge permits, Coletta said.
There will be a series of public hearings on the changes and written comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. Jan. 17.
For more information and public hearing dates and times, go to www.mass.gov/dep/service/regulations/newregs.htm. The waterways rule changes are the first set of “proposed regulations.”
By Patrick Cassidy
11 December 2007
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