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Turbines stalled by legal action  

FAIRHAVEN – CCI Energy’s planned installation of two wind turbines adjacent to Little Bay at the end of Arsene Street have been stalled by an appeal and a lawsuit initiated by residents abutting the project.

Project abutter and Attorney Anne Ponchitera Denardis filed an appeal with the Department of Environmental Protection and a civil lawsuit against the town concerning the Planning Board’s approval of the project.

The DEP appeal concerns the Conservation Commissions approval of the turbine project under the Department of Environmental Protection’s Wetland Protection Act.

On May 29, the DEP visited Fairhaven to conduct a site review. An official decision has not yet been made.

The civil suit concerns the Planning Board’s approval of the project.

The civil suit initiated against the town of Fairhaven, alleges the turbines will detract from the character, scenic vistas and value of properties in the area around the turbine project. A complaint was filed in the Bristol County Superior Court on June 4.

The suit also alleges the Planning Board was ‘improperly biased’ in favor of CCI Energy.

During the Planning Board’s final discussion on the matter, board member Wayne Hayward was opposed to timing of the vote.

“I support the project, but I just felt the board was moving too fast,” said Mr. Hayward during the May 14 Planning Board meeting. “If you push me to vote, I guess I have to vote nay.”

The board approved permits for the two 397 foot turbines with one no vote and one abstention.

During the May 2007 annual Town Meeting, the town agreed with a vote of 141 for and 98 against to allow the Selectmen to enter into a 25 year agreement for wind power with CCI Energy.

Under the terms of the agreement, CCI Energy has until the end of this year to erect the turbines.

Published reports quote Fairhaven selectman chairman Dr. Brian Bowcock as saying the town may also seek legal recourse, citing the town also has a financial interest in the establishment of the turbine project.

A separate wind project developed by Patriot Renewables off the coast of Fairhaven was canceled earlier this year.

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s presentation on the economic benefits to the Town of Fairhaven states the town could receive approximately $150,000 a year in benefits from the project.

The presentation can be viewed at masstech.org/Project%20Deliverables/Comm_Wind/Fairhaven/Presentation-CommercialFinancial5-9-07FINAL.pdf.

Members of the turbine opposition have created a website www.windwisefairhaven.com.

You can also view the MTC’s wind feasibility results for Fairhaven at www.masstech.org/Project%20Deliverables/Comm_Wind/Fairhaven/Presentation-FairhavenFS2007-0404.ppt.

By Kaisa Holloway Cripps

Editor

The Advocate

southcoasttoday.com

19 June 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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