NRDC SUBMITS COMMENTS ON CAPE WIND PROJECT AS PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD CLOSES

Jon Coifman, 212-727-4535




Statement by Katherine Kennedy, NRDC Senior Attorney


NEW YORK (February 24, 2005) -- The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) submitted comments today to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Massachusetts decisionmakers on the proposed Cape Wind offshore wind project, which would be located in Nantucket Sound, off Massachusetts.

The following is a statement by NRDC's Katherine Kennedy:

"The environmental standards set for the Cape Wind project will create an important precedent for the future offshore wind facilities in the United States, so it is crucial for us to set the bar in the right place.

"The air quality, public health and global warming benefits of the project are significant and beyond rational dispute. It is also critical to ensure that the project will protect marine wildlife and comply with all applicable laws. Cape Wind should strive to be an environmental model for other wind farms to follow.

"NRDC's comments stress the significant air quality, public health and global warming benefits of the project. We also recommend additional steps for the project to take to protect marine mammals during construction. We identify some remaining unresolved issues around the project's impact on birds, most importantly the endangered Roseate Tern, and call upon the Army Corps and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to convene a science advisory panel to address these questions and recommend solutions as necessary. The panel could also provide recommendations on additional mitigation measures to address unanticipated problem if the project is built.

"NRDC's approach, if followed, will provide the best path to realizing the air and energy benefits of the Cape Wind project while also creating a responsible and positive model for future offshore wind development."

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