The Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates voted at its regular meeting yesterday in favor of rule changes for hearings on utility projects that come before the Cape Cod Commission, the county’s land-use regulatory agency.
The changes will only affect projects that also come before the state Energy Facilities Siting Board. The Cape Cod Commission has crossed paths with the siting board on a pair of large projects in the past year, including opposing a proposal by Cape Wind Associates to run transmission lines from 130 wind turbines the company wants to build in Nantucket Sound.
Cape Wind has appealed to the siting board to overrule the commission and has asked the state panel to issue a permit that would cover most future local and state permits for the company’s proposed wind farm. The siting board is scheduled to hold a hearing on Cape Wind’s transmission line appeal April 22.
The commission hopes the new procedures approved yesterday will force the siting board to pay it more heed when reviewing appeals of commission rulings. The rule changes adopted yesterday will not affect ongoing regulatory review of the Cape Wind project.
The changes were initially proposed after the commission’s rejection of a KeySpan gas pipeline project on the Mid-Cape was overruled by the siting board last year.
By Patrick Cassidy
7 February 2008
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding