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Nantucket Residents Against Turbines Motion to be heard in Federal District Court
News provided byNANTUCKET RESIDENTS AGAINST TURBINES
Jan 24, 2023, 8:00 AM ET
NANTUCKET, Mass., Jan. 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Nantucket (ACK) Residents Against Turbines' Motion for Summary Judgment against the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Secretary of the Interior Debra Haaland, and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo for violations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) will be heard in Federal District Court, Boston, Tuesday, January 24th, 2:30 p.m.
Nantucket Residents Against Turbines' lawsuit seeks to overturn the Federal Government's permitting for the Vineyard Wind offshore wind project and require further study to prevent harm to the highly endangered North Atlantic Right Whale and other environmental concerns. Nantucket Residents Against Turbines believes the project will exacerbate threats to the North Atlantic Right Whale which has a population of fewer than 360 individuals. The construction and operation of the project will push this critically endangered marine mammal out of its preferred feeding grounds, expose it to increased vessel strikes and fishing gear entanglements and, among other things, prevent its ability to communicate.
A substantial percentage of all critically endangered right whales now spend significant time in the waters south of Nantucket (including the Vineyard Wind project site). By installing multiple industrial-scale wind energy projects in this area, BOEM is failing to protect this federally listed marine mammal. Nantucket Residents Against Turbines motion claims that federal agencies issued a legally defective Biological Opinion, ignored increased stress on Right Whales, failed to complete an adequate Environmental Impact Statement and issued illegal "Incidental Take Authorizations" that would jeopardize this critically endangered species.
Nantucket Residents Against Turbines motion requests the Court to set aside the Biological Opinion and Final Environmental Impact Statements for Vineyard Wind and is seeking interim injunctive relief to protect the North Atlantic Right Whale until such time as the federal Defendants have complied with the applicable ESA and NEPA mandates.
Stated Val Oliver, Founder of Nantucket Residents Against Turbines:
"Our lawsuit aims to protect the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. Our success is their success. When government agencies designed to protect our environment fail us, ordinary citizens need to hold these agencies accountable. The industrialization of our ocean for the benefit of offshore wind companies needs to be paused until we know its effect on the North Atlantic Right Whales," stated Val Oliver, founder of Nantucket Residents Against Turbines.
Nantucket Residents Against Turbines, is a grass roots non-profit composed of year-round and seasonal residents of Nantucket. The organization was formed to pursue answers regarding the impacts and trade-offs to the industrial scale offshore wind projects planned off the south shores of Nantucket. We are asking very simply, for real factual "best practices" of science backed answers regarding cumulative impacts to the fragile marine environment surrounding our island.
We are a 501 (c) 3, tax exempt organization incorporated in 2020. Our efforts include public outreach and education. Nantucket Residents Against Turbines is wholly committed to defending the North Atlantic Right Whale, as well our island's marine environment.
For further information, please visit www.ackrats.com.
SOURCE NANTUCKET RESIDENTS AGAINST TURBINES