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Acushnet to lobby against wind turbine siting act

CUSHNET – Selectmen agree with their Wellfleet counterparts on Cape Cod that towns should not give up local regulatory power when it comes to reviewing wind turbine proposals in their communities.

They are putting their view in writing.

The Acushnet board is writing to the Massachusetts Municipal Association to express its thoughts on a Comprehensive Reform for Land-Based Wind Turbine Siting Act. The Senate has passed the measure; House action is pending.

Supporters say it is environmentally sound; opponents do not like the streamlining aspects of turbine review, arguing it gives the wind industry extraordinary help along with the subsidies it now gets.

The Wellfleet board says the act as now written “is an affront to the principles of home rule and due process” and that it gives power to a three-member board appointed by the governor to develop statewide standards for locating turbines of 2 or more megawatts.

The Acushnet letter to MMA – and also to state Rep. Robert Koczera, D-New Bedford – was written by selectmen Chairman Leslie Dakin Jr., telling the Boston-based lobbying group that the Legislature should not “erode our opportunity to make decisions through local bylaws.”

Turbine proposals are becoming more common. In the past month, a plan to construct eight turbines, each reaching nearly 500 feet, has been proposed on private land north of the Cape Cod Canal between Buzzards Bay and North Sagamore, while the state plans an array of similar structures on the sprawling Massachusetts Military Reservation south of the waterway.