Monday, October 04, 2004

New Jersey Congressmen to Sponsor Legislative Moratorium on Offshore Wind in Mid Atlantic

According to the Asbury Park Press, two of New Jersey's congressmen are considering introducing a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to establish a moratorium on offshore wind farms in the Mid-Atlantic. The move comes in response to a proposal by Winergy LLC of Shirley, N.Y., to install 98 windmills 3.5 miles off Monmouth County, from Long Branch to Manasquan, New Jersey.

U.S. Rep. Frank J. Pallone Jr., D-N.J., who represents much of coastal Monmouth County, said last week he will introduce a bill setting a moratorium on offshore wind farms in the mid-Atlantic until a comprehensive study of all potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts is done. U.S. Rep. Robert E. Andrews, D-N.J., who is a potential candidate for governor next year, said he will co-sponsor Pallone's bill.

Bob Link, Winergy's permit compliance officer, responded to the proposed legislative moratorium by noting that the National Environmental Policy Act already requires the type of environmental and socioeconomic analysis called for by Congressman Pallone.

"If you're going to build a power plant, you have to do" an environmental impact statement, Link said. "You have to go through some type of review process and that's what NEPA (the National Environmental Policy Act) says."

We'll have more on the potential scope of the moratorium once the bill is introduced.

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