AQUINNAH – The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) announced Friday that the tribal government has authorized a lawsuit against the Cape Wind project.
It’s unclear when the suit will be filed, but a press release from the Martha’s Vineyard tribe indicates it wants to join more than a dozen groups in launching a new legal challenge to the proposed 130-turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound.
The planned lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement “cites multiple violations, including irreversible alterations, significant adverse effects and the destruction of historical, cultural and spiritual tribal resources through the permitting of the Cape Wind project,” the tribe’s press release states.
“Cape Wind will destroy our traditional cultural property, Horseshoe Shoal and the surrounding Nantucket Sound, where our tribe has flourished and continues to utilize for significant cultural and spiritual ceremonies and practices,” Bettina Washington, the tribe’s historic preservation officer, says in the press release.
There are 1,121 enrolled tribal members in the Aquinnah tribe, which claims to have occupied the Vineyard for 10,000 years, according to the tribe’s official website.
The tribe’s press release describes Cape Wind’s size as “130 Statues of Liberty spread out over 25 square miles, an area of the size of Manhattan.”
There are several lawsuits pending against the Cape Wind project, including legal challenges by The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound and the town of Barnstable.
About 14 legal challenges against Cape Wind have been rejected by various courts over the past eight years, said Mark Rodgers, spokesman for Cape Wind Associates.
Every decision has come out in Cape Wind’s favor, he added.
“We’re confident that the permit will be upheld and that this legal challenge will be rejected,” Rodgers said of the Department of Interior’s approval of Cape Wind.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding