Maryland Congressman Andy Harris is calling for an immediate halt to offshore windmill construction and underwater geotechnical testing.
Harris who represents most of Maryland’s Eastern Shore region made the demand after a dead whale washed ashore at Assateague Island Monday.
Now in his seventh term in Congress, Harris argues there is no evidence suggesting that windmill construction did not cause the whale’s death.
The lawmaker says he wants full transparent necropsy results.
“I am also calling for a full and transparent release of necropsy results, including the necropsy results of the whale ear structures which should be removed for examination to determine whether sonar actively contributed to the cause of death,” Harris said in a statement. “Even a vessel strike is still consistent with injury from seismic testing as that testing may interfere with the whale’s hearing and senses – some think causing long lasting damage.”
Maryland is just the latest state to report a whale death in the last month. There have been seven in New York and New Jersey, leading some coastal environmental groups to blame the deaths on offshore wind.
Other organizations have pushed back calling that a false narrative, stressing that climate change is the greatest threat to marine life, and that offshore wind power is essential to moving away from burning planet-warming fossil fuels.
“We need to take the time to gather proper scientific data, act in full transparency, and not rely upon FAQ platitudes for these projects, their construction, and the impact they may have upon our environment,” said Harris. “Until such actions occur, I am calling for a complete shutdown of windmill construction.”
Here in Maryland, Orsted is in the process of building Maryland’s first emissions-free offshore wind operations and maintenance facility in west Ocean City.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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