QUINCY – Cape Wind’s opponents have added another appeal to the legal tangles that the wind farm’s developer needs to confront before its plans to build 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound can come to fruition.
The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound and the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe filed an appeal last week with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to object to a permit that agency issued last month that relies on outdated information.
In particular, Cape Wind’s opponents argued that the emissions permit was based on Cape Wind Associates’ plans to do staging work in North Kingstown, R.I. But Cape Wind Associates recently decided to relocate that work to New Bedford’s waterfront.
Alliance CEO Audra Parker said her group doesn’t necessarily think the new staging location would be worse for the environment. But she said the information in the federal agency’s record is now inaccurate because of the location change, and the agency needs to reconsider the case so the record can reflect the new information.
Cape Wind Associates spokesman Mark Rodgers issued a prepared statement, calling the alliance’s appeal “another frivolous appeal by an opposition group that is funded by fossil fuel interests to try to delay the new jobs, cleaner air and greater energy independence that Cape Wind will bring.”
Parker said the Cape Wind project, which was approved by the U.S. Department of Interior last year, still faces several other appeals by her group and other critics.
Parker said her organization is involved with two lawsuits attempting to overturn the Department of Interior approval, one lawsuit to appeal a Federal Aviation Administration declaration and another suit to appeal a state Department of Public Utilities approval of a contract between Cape Wind Associates and National Grid. She said several other opponents, such as the town of Barnstable and Associated Industries of Massachusetts, have filed similar suits.
Cape Wind, meanwhile, is attempting to move forward to obtain financing for the project’s price tag, which could exceed $2 billion, with a goal of starting construction within a year.
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