Fishing Industry Alliance Files Lawsuit Against Martha’s Vineyard Wind Farm

Fishing Industry Alliance Files Lawsuit Against Martha’s Vineyard Wind Farm

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A fishing boat works near wind turbines. (Photo Credit: RODA)

Washington, D.C., January 31, 2022 — Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA), a broad membership-based coalition of fishing industry associations and fishing companies, filed suit challenging the Interior Department’s approval of a massive offshore wind project to be constructed on a 65,000-acre tract in federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, names the U.S. Interior Department and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, among others. The suit alleges that government agencies violated numerous environmental protection statutes in authorizing the Vineyard Wind 1 offshore wind energy project.

Annie Hawkins, Executive Director of RODA, stated: “In its haste to implement a massive new program to generate electrical energy by constructing thousands of turbine towers offshore the eastern seaboard on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf and laying hundreds of miles of high-tension electrical cables undersea, the United States has shortcut the statutory and regulatory requirements that were enacted to protect our nation’s environmental and natural resources, its industries, and its people.” She added, “The fishing industry supports strong action on climate change, but not at the expense of the ocean, its inhabitants, and sustainable domestic seafood.”

On October 19, 2021, RODA issued the government agencies a 60-day Notice of its Intent to Sue if they did not comply with the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, and other federal environmental statutes.

“The Alliance received no reply, and the environmental violations were not remedied,” Hawkins stated. “The decisions on this project didn’t balance ocean resource conservation and management, and must not set a precedent for the enormous “pipeline of projects” the government plans to facilitate in the near term. So we had no alternative to filing suit.”

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About Responsible Offshore Development Alliance

Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) is a broad membership-based coalition of fishing industry associations and fishing companies — across the United States — committed to improving the compatibility of new offshore development with their businesses. The alliance works to directly collaborate with relevant regulatory agencies, scientists, and others to coordinate science and policy approaches to managing development of the Outer Continental Shelf in a way that minimizes conflicts with existing traditional and historical fishing.

 

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