By Beth Daley
There was another piece of bad news for opponents of the wind farm today.
In addition to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision to allow the proposed 130 turbine project to be built in Nantucket Sound, a state Superior Court judge ruled against their claim that the state was examining the project too narrowly when it gave an environmental sign-off three years ago.
Superior Court Judge Robert C. Rufo said the state was correct in only examining environmental impacts from the part of the project in state waters - largely cables that will connect the farm in federal waters to shore.
Opponents, including the town of Barnstable and the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound had argued that the state should have taken a broader view: Look at the impact on state environmental resources from the entire project.
“The Alliance and the Town have not met their difficult burden of demonstrating that the Secretary acted arbitrarily and capriciously,” Rufo wrote.
Charles McLaughlin, town counsel for Barnstable said the decision was not surprising, “but very disappointing.”
The arguments made in the case closely mimic another lawsuit now pending in the state Supreme Judicial Court. There, opponents protested the state’s consolidation, and subsequent approval, of eight local and state permits. Arguments were heard in February and a decision is expected soon.
Cape Wind is also waiting on a final decision from the Federal Aviation Administration about the project.
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