Monday, February 28, 2005

EPA Finds Cape Wind DEIS Inadequate; Calls for Further Study

In a letter filed with the Corps of Engineers last week the Environmental Projection Agency (EPA) called the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Cape Wind project inadequate, and asked for further studies of the project prior to approval.

Robert W. Varney, the EPA's regional administrator, expressed a number of concerns in the letter, finding that the study did not provide adequate information on current environmental conditions or the impact of the proposed project. Varney also noted that the DEIS failed to address concerns previously raised by federal agencies and was especially critical of the Corps' failure to collect three years of data on bird impacts, as suggested by the Fish & Wildlife Service.

The letter also questioned the Corps' analysis of alternatives to the project, and in particular its evaluation of whether a scaled-down version could avoid or minimize potential impacts.

The EPA does not have the ultimate authority to block the Cape Wind project, but a negative review from the agency on the Final EIS could seriously affect the ability of the EIS to withstand scrutiny if challenged in court.

The Cape Cod Times & the Times Argus both have reports. The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound has a copy of the Boston Globe article on its website.