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Court rejects Bourne request for injunctive relief against Plymouth turbines

Barnstable Superior Court Justice Gary Nickerson on April 8 denied Bourne’s request for injunctive relief against Future Generation Wind’s controversial turbine construction and pending operation off Head of the Bay Road, South Plymouth.

Nickerson ruled Bourne officials have no legal standing to file a restraining order against cranberry farmer Keith Mann’s wind farm just across the Buzzards Bay line in Head of the Bay, primarily because the alternative-energy structures are beyond Bourne’s geographical limits.

Nickerson also decided the Bourne Board of Health cannot compel Future Generation Wind to file for Bourne turbine-bylaw review. The judge said the health board could indeed deal with public-health issues related to turbines but only if they evolve. That remains to be determined, he ruled.

For now, the judge decided, the turbines are not operating and there are no adverse impacts to gauge.

Bourne Selectmen Chairman Steve Mealy on April 12 said he was not surprised by the court ruling. “We agreed to undertake the legal action when it was requested of us, but Town Counsel Robert Troy indicated early there was not enough case law for the court to consider a different decision.”

The FGW turbines off Head of the Bay Road and Route 25 westbound are not operational. They have been sold to Consolidated Edison.

The Buzzards Bay citizen group that sought legal action against Bourne selectmen – because, the citizens group contends, board members arguably did not act quickly enough on the turbine matter – also lost its case last week in the Barnstable court.

The group had sued selectmen, who had undertaken injunctive relief efforts against the turbines on those residents’ behalf. The legal action against selectmen was dismissed by the court.

Head of the Bay Road area residents – as well as other Bourne residents across Buttermilk Bay – claim the commercial-grade turbines would cause environmental and public health problems and that operations would serve to devalue their properties.