Monday, December 20, 2004

Review of Cape Wind DEIS Finds Flaws

Martha's Vineyard Gazette reports that at least three U.S. agency's have found fundamental flaws in the Corps review of the Cape Wind project: "Responding to an early version of the Army Corps draft environmental impact statement, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Mineral Management Service all questioned the objectivity of the Army Corps analysis."

The Gazette has obtained copies of letters between the agencies not yet publicly released (and not included in the 3800 page DEIS). The letters raise a number of concerns ranging from objectivity, to public involvement, to a failure to adequately evaluate impacts on wildlife.

All three letters express concern over the Corps consideration of alternatives, and allege that the Corp should have given greater consideration to other renewable energy options. Maria Burks, superintendent of the National Park Service's Cape Cod National Seashore, describes the analysis as "misleading" and opines that the DEIS "often reads as if promoting a predetermined decision." Vernon Lang, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, joins Ms. Burks sentiments: "In our view, this single page of discussion on the no action alternative seems to have been written to serve as a justification for the proposed project rather than as a baseline from which to measure the effects of other reasonable alternatives."

Ultimately Mr. Lang recommends that the Corps should "require this analysis to be rewritten and to be free from self-serving conclusory statements."

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