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Selectmen won’t release turbine mitigation plan; Board of Health’s refusal called into question

FAIRHAVEN – Selectmen wouldn’t release the mitigation plan submitted by Fairhaven Wind LLC after their meeting Monday, saying they were seeking an opinion first from town counsel.

“We’re waiting to hear from Tom Crotty,” Chairman Charles Murphy said Tuesday, referring to the town counsel.

The mitigation plan was submitted by turbine developer Fairhaven Wind LLC and is dated Nov. 11. It was discussed by selectmen Monday in executive session.

Mr. Murphy said the board is seeking an opinion on releasing the plan because it refers to things that are in the board’s contract with the developer.

“It references the contract,” he said, adding that he’s not sure if the changes the developer has proposed affect part of the contract.

Mr. Murphy said the board “didn’t vote on it” as far as accepting the mitigation plan.

As for the Board of Health’s not releasing the mitigation plan, that was a different issue, according to Selectman Geoffrey Haworth.

Mr. Haworth said it was his understanding the health board had to release it because it was discussed in open session. He said he thought Mr. Crotty had expressed that view.

His comment came in response to an item on the selectmen’s agenda, a request from the Board of Health seeking permission to use town counsel to address a Freedom of Information Act request for the mitigation plan.

Mr. Haworth said the selectmen should refuse the Board of Health’s request for town counsel because it was going to have to release the document the next day based on what he understood was the town counsel’s opinion.

On Wednesday, however, health board Chairman Jeannine Lopes said they still wanted to hear from town counsel.