Fishing Industry Alliance Sues US Department of Interior Over Vineyard Wind 1

The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA), a U.S. coalition of fishing industry associations and fishing companies, has filed a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) decision to approve the 806 MW Vineyard Wind 1 offshore wind farm, which recently entered construction.

RODA filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on January 31, citing the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), among others, as defendants and claiming that government agencies had violated numerous environmental protection laws by authorizing the Vineyard Wind 1 project.

“In their haste to implement a massive new program to generate electric power by building thousands of turbine towers off the east coast on the Atlantic outer continental shelf and laying hundreds of miles of high-voltage electrical cables under the sea, the United States has shortened the law and regulatory requirements that were enacted to protect our nation’s environmental and natural resources, industries, and people.”noted Annie Hawkinexecutive director of RODA.

“The fishing industry supports strong action on climate change, but not at the expense of the ocean, its people and sustainable national seafood”, Annie Hawkin noted.

RODA expressed its disapproval of the US authorities’ decision to authorize the construction and operation of Vineyard Wind 1 in May 2021, after BOEM published a Record of Decision (ROD) for the 800 MW offshore wind farm, granting the project final federal approval to install 84 or fewer turbines off the coast of Massachusetts in federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard.

In May 2021, RODA said that in a letter signed by nearly 1,700 people, the fishing industry and community members asked BOEM for twelve mitigation measures in the Record of Decision to ensure continued success. from the American fishing industry, but that the only response BOEM issued was that it had received the letter.

In its January 31 press release of this year, RODA said that in October 2021, it issued government agencies a 60-day notice of its intent to sue if they failed to comply with the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and other federal environmental laws, and that he has not received a response.

“Decisions on this project have not balanced the conservation and management of ocean resources and should not set a precedent for the huge ‘pipeline of projects’ the government plans to facilitate in the near term. We therefore had no alternative to filing a complaint.noted Annie Hawkinexecutive director of RODA.

The 806 MW offshore wind farm, developed by a joint venture between Iberdrola-owned Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), entered construction in November 2021 with a ground-breaking ceremony at Covell’s Beach, where the offshore wind farm will be connected to the national grid. on earth.

Vineyard Wind is the country’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm and also the first such project in the Americas region.

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