Monday, November 08, 2004

Cape Wind Draft EIS to be Released Tomorrow

After numerous delays, the Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) for the Cape Wind project is due to be released by the Corps of Engineers tomorrow. The Boston Globe and Cape Cod Times have obtained copies of the executive summary of the DEIS, and both papers are reporting that the environmental review is favorable.

According to the Globe report, the EIS "undercuts opponents' arguments that the 130-turbine wind farm would cause deep, lasting damage to the environment." The Globe outlines the major findings in the executive summary on some of the more controversial impacts:

Avian Impacts: turbines could kill up to 364 birds per year (one per day), but are unlike to significantly affect bird populations or endangered species.

Economic Impacts: wind farm will have positive economic impact through job creation and tourism, and property values are not expected to drop as a result of visual impacts.

Public Health: project will improve public health by generating energy without emitting pollutants. Report estimates an annual savings of $53 million in public health costs as a result of air quality improvements.

The release of the DEIS marks the beginning of a 60 day comment period on the document. Four public hearings are scheduled on the project: Dec. 6 in Oak Bluffs, Dec. 7 in West Yarmouth, Dec. 8 in Nantucket, and Dec. 16 in Cambridge.

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