US Lawmakers Call For Prompt Vineyard Wind Decision

A group of U.S. senators and representatives are calling on federal agencies to move ahead with the Vineyard Wind offshore wind project in Massachusetts, after the delay of its Federal Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

Massachusetts Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, Senators of Louisiana Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, as well as Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise and Massachusetts Congressmen Richard Neal, William Keating and Joseph Kennedy, sent a letter to the Departments of the Interior and Commerce urging them to move forward with the Vineyard Wind project.

In the letter, the lawmakers are calling on the federal agencies to judiciously evaluate impacts to the New England commercial fishing industry, finalize the supplemental EIS promptly, and mitigate any additional delay that may threaten the 800MW offshore wind farm.

“We believe it is possible for multiple industries to coexist in mixed use regions offshore,” the letter writes. “We urge your Departments to work together to find a solution that will address concerns raised by stakeholders, protects the environment, and allows the Vineyard Wind project to remain viable.” 

To remind, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced in July it is postponing the issuance of the Vineyard Wind FEIS saying it is not yet prepared to do so. The agency recently stated that a supplemental draft EIS process needs to be undertaken.

BOEM anticipates completing the Supplemental EIS late this year or early next year.

Vineyard Wind planned to begin project construction this year and have the wind farm operational by 2022. The 800MW project will feature MHI Vestas 9.5MW turbines located some 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.