Environmental Protection

Mass. Siting Board OKs Cape Wind Permits

Cape Wind completed its state and local permitting process with a unanimous vote of the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board on May 21 to grant Cape Wind a "Certificate of Environmental Impact and Public Interest" that rolls up all state and local permits and approvals into one composite certificate.

Cape Wind President Jim Gordon welcomed the news. "Today's vote marks not just a successful conclusion to a seven-year state regulatory review of the Cape Wind project but the beginning of a new era of clean energy jobs and renewable power from the endless wind resources off our shore."

Completion of the federal permitting process for Cape Wind is expected soon when U.S. Secretary Ken Salazar issues a Record of Decision on Cape Wind. The Minerals Management Service of the U.S. Department of Interior issued Cape Wind a favorable Final Environmental Impact Statement in January.

The board was created by the Legislature to ensure the siting of needed and least environmental impact energy facilities and was granted the statutory authority to issue a comprehensive approval to an energy facility it has previously approved, where that facility has been denied a permit by any other state or local agency in the Commonwealth. The board exercised its statutory authority, which was necessitated by a procedural denial issued from the Cape Cod Commission in 2007.

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