For Immediate Release
As Cape Wind Gets Federal Ok to Move Forward, Cape Cod Judge Says Opponent’s Law Suit has No Merit, Decides in Favor of Clean Energy Project
BOSTON - At the same that Cape Wind received its final approval yesterday allowing the clean energy project to move forward, a judge in Hyannis decided against an opponents' lawsuit, saying it had no merit.
"With opponents now saying they will be filing lawsuits to deprive the region safe, secure and clean energy and jobs Cape Wind will bring, it is important to note this judge's decision yesterday in deciding against the opponents," said Cape Wind Communications Director Mark Rodgers.
The suit filed by project opponents alleged that Cape Wind's Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) filed with the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs did not comply with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act ("MEPA"). The opponents' primary contention was that the Secretary's review should have included the components of the project that are located in federal waters notwithstanding that the Secretary's authority to review projects under MEPA is limited to projects that will be located on State land and water.
Cape Wind argued that the FEIR fully complied with MEPA and that MEPA review did not extend to the wind farm in Federal waters. Cape Wind also asserted that review of the FEIR was now moot because the state Energy Facilities Siting Board had subsequently issued a composite certificate that included all state and local permits needed to install the transmission cables.
Yesterday, Judge Rufo agreed with Cape Wind that the Secretary's analysis and conclusions in the FEIR certificate were logical, rational, and not arbitrary and capricious. He also agreed that the Secretary's decision that the wind farm is not subject to jurisdiction under MEPA is legally correct. In addition, Judge Rufo found that the opponents' lawsuit was moot because the EFSB's composite certificate supersedes the permits that were issued in reliance on the FEIR. Based on his conclusions, the judge dismissed the opponents' lawsuit in its entirety.
"Every law suit that has been filed against this clean energy project has either been thrown out or decided against the opponents," said Dennis Duffy, Cape Wind's counsel. "Twelve suits have been filed and 12 times Federal and State judges have said the project deserves to move forward," Duffy added.
Cape Wind's proposal to build America's first offshore wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal would provide most of the electricity used on Cape Cod and the Islands from clean, renewable energy - reducing this region's need to import oil, coal and gas. Cape Wind will create new jobs, help stabilize electric costs, contribute to a healthier environment, increase energy independence and establish Massachusetts as a leader in offshore wind power. For more information visit www.capewind.org.