Barnstable, opposition group appeal FAA ruling on Cape Wind
The town of Barnstable and an opposition group are appealing the Federal Aviation Administration's determination that the 130 offshore turbines of the proposed Cape Wind energy project would not significantly interfere with planes or radar.
Citing "severe safety concerns," the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, a longtime opponent of the proposed wind farm, and the town, which operates the municipal airport, filed the appeal to request that the FAA reverse its decision, according to a statement.
If built in Nantucket Sound, Cape Wind's 440-foot turbines would be "directly in the path of thousands of flights per year," the appeal said, forcing many to reroute or risk colliding with a turbine.
Because each determination expires after about 18 months, the FAA has reviewed the Cape Wind project four times. The first two assesments found no problem, but during its third look, the FAA decided the wind farm was a "presumed hazard."
The agency gave the project its most recent approval in May only after Cape Wind agreed to pay for a roughly $1.5 million radar modifcation, and to place $15 million in an escrow account for two years to pay for a digital radar system in case the original fix fails.
The FAA said it does not comment on specific petitions.