PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The state Supreme Court will not hear a complaint from an opponent to Deepwater Wind’s planned offshore wind farm near Block Island who was seeking to have the key state approval for the project overturned.
In an order dated Jan. 16, the court denied the request from Robert Shields, the chair of Deepwater Resistance, a Narragansett-based political action committee that has been fighting against the plan to install five wind turbines in state waters off Block Island.
Shields’ lawsuit was the only remaining challenge to any of Deepwater’s state and federal permits. The court’s decision removes the final obstacle in the permitting process for the project, which aims to be the first offshore wind farm in the United States.
Shields filed a complaint in Superior Court last July that alleged that a subcommittee of the state Coastal Resources Management Council showed bias toward Deepwater during hearings on the Providence-based company’s proposal last February.
Shields also argued that the CRMC should have considered the above-market costs of the power that would be generated by the wind farm. CRMC chair Anne Maxwell Livingston, who also heads the subcommittee that considered the project application, wouldn’t allow testimony on the wind farm’s economic impact, saying the issue was outside the council’s jurisdiction. A lawyer for the council agreed.
Superior Court Judge Michael A. Silverstein dismissed the case in November, saying that Shields lacked standing. Shields then sought to have the suit heard by the Supreme Court.
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