Nantucket group sues over Vineyard Wind


A group of Nantucket residents opposed to an offshore wind farm, proposed to the south of Martha’s Vineyard, filed a federal suit, according to the State House News Service. The suit was filed on Wednesday, and alleges that not enough was done to protect federal endangered species. 

The suit alleges the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration did not comply with federal law when assessing, disclosing, and mitigating environmental effects of the Vineyard Wind 1 project.

The group that filed the suit, Nantucket Residents Against Turbines, says BOEM, NOAA, and National Marine Fisheries failed to ensure that Vineyard Wind would not jeopardize the survival of federally listed endangered species like the North Atlantic right whale. The suit also names Interior Secretary Debra Haaland and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

“The North Atlantic right whale is on the verge of extinction. However, one of its longtime safe havens — where there is ample food and protective areas for birthing and rearing young — is the area immediately south-southwest of Nantucket Island,” the lawsuit reads. “Unfortunately, this is the exact place that BOEM has selected for purposes of constructing the largest offshore wind array ever assembled.”

“Vineyard Wind declines to comment on pending litigation,” Andrew Doba, a spokesman for the project, told The Times.

A spokesperson for Renew Northeast issued a statement on the suit: “Renew supports the benefits of bringing responsible offshore wind to the fore. However, the [ACK RATS] speaker’s comments about being OK with the wind turbines if they are moved further offshore demonstrates the group’s intent is aesthetics. The larger picture here is that offshore wind is a vital component of the clean energy transformation that is needed to protect whales and the ocean environment from the effects of climate change, while delivering clean electricity, jobs and other benefits to the residents of Massachusetts and the region.” Francis Pullaro, executive director, Renew Northeast, said.

American Clean Power (ACP) also issued a statement opposing the litigation. “Sustainability and environmental stewardship are primary focuses for the U.S. offshore wind industry. The Vineyard Wind project has undergone rigorous environmental reviews and permitting processes, in addition to a lengthy public comment period. While we are still reviewing the complaint, it appears this lawsuit is being brought by residents motivated by aesthetic concerns as much as anything alleged in their complaint,”  Tom Vinson, ACP Vice President for Federal Regulatory Affairs, said in an emailed statement.


  1. Makes me sick! Now we interfere with endangered species in the name of becoming more “green”, not to mention other harmful effects on the marine environment. Humans should instead be educated on and encouraged to use less and conserve more, rather then erecting huge wind turbine farms in these pristine and important waters. Ugg…

  2. Dont worry, it aint gonna happen. The cost is too extreme versus the Benefit(pun). The Danes do it because the government pays for it and taxes its people big time. Polls show people want to do something for climate but when asked how much they would pay, they say not much. Biden could make it happen with an Executive Order though.

  3. Jennifer
    Tell that to all the Ask-Holinesses that leave their oversized trucks running while shopping.
    Tell it to Andrew, who hates that I think people should not waste gas ..
    It’s an uphill battle , Jennifer.
    Good luck getting a “conservative” to conserve energy.
    As long as they want high flow showerheads, 5 gallon a flush toilets ( wonder why ? ) and high energy lightbulbs, we need to supply them with their god given hedonistic energy needs.

    • Actually no Keller. Most of us do want to conserve energy and we do want to be thoughtful about gas and water and stewardship of lands and parks. What we dont want is hysteria and doomsday scenarios from shrill controllers who want us to reduce our standard of living and those of hundreds of millions in third world countries who have yet to receive fundamental hygiene and good health. We wont listen to the Media that tells us a man can get pregnant and what a good job Biden is doing.

      • Andy– since when have you ever considered conserving energy.
        You are on record as being against anything that would save energy;
        Led lightbulbs, low flow shower heads, low flush toilets, increasing CAFE standards, any kind of electric vehicle– you even hate the idea that people ride bicycles — and just how does excessive idling ( which is illegal in many states including Ma. ) reduce anyone’s standard of living ?
        MGL Chapter 90, Section 16A states that: No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the unnecessary operation of the engine of a motor vehicle while said vehicle is stopped for a foreseeable period of time in excess of five minutes. In Boston, the Air Pollution Control Commission enforces this law.
        When you say “we do want to be thoughtful about gas and water and stewardship of lands and parks.” who is the “we” ?
        Stewardship of land and parks does not mean drilling for oil in the Arctic national wildlife refuge , having massive pipelines running across the countries’ largest aquifer, and allowing mining companies to cut the tops off of mountains and throw the tailings into the rivers and streams.

  4. I wonder if this group ever filed a lawsuit protecting the endangered species that would be affected by the Prudhoe oil fields, the Canadian tar sands ,or the environmentally sensitive land the keystone pipeline that would go across, or the Alaskan national wildlife refuge.

    Fake environmentalist–
    Shame on them …

  5. Happy to see a group that sees the failure of this wind power idea. Wind power should at least be kept on land not in the ocean. SAVE THE WHALES and the fishing industry.Send Vineyard Wind to the scrap yard!

  6. Oh my, people talking about their feelings not the facts. I do know that when a structure is placed in the ocean it creates a artificial reef which attracts more diverse species. Old ships and buses are used now and in the past with proven results. The platforms which attach to the ocean floor will become a new breeding ground for several species of fish and other numerous flora and fauna, that’s a fact

  7. Congratulations to the Nantucket residents who apparently care more about the detrimental impact this Wind Farm will have on birds, fishing and the ecosystem of our
    waterways then our own residents. This group pulled their app while Trump was in office because he didn’t want to support a project of this size. Why should our island have to be guinea pigs for a company from Denmark? Tell them to test it out off their own shores. Leave the Vineyard alone. Please. 🙏🏻

  8. I find it quite ironic that these Nantucketer’s’ are so concerned about the “right” whale that their ancestors of just a few generations ago hunted to the brink of extinction.

    • Back in the day, before people were aware of the what damaging consequences their actions would have, someone discovered that whale oil burned the cleanest and brightest of all lighting options at the time. That’s why whaling became such a big industry. Yes, it made the few whaling families rich on Nantucket, New Bedford and other whaling ports until oil was discovered in Pennsylvania …another ecological disaster waiting to happen!!!

      Until there is a larger portion of environmentally concerned folks who don’t buckle to the whims of big business lobbyists who feel they have to make millions of dollars to be successful, then this mindset will continue. Windmills that generate clean efficient energy is a good thing, just not in the water! Much better they be built on land…. but I’m sure I’d get an argument there too, wouldn’t I ???….. a never ending cycle, right?

      • Donna–
        I am sure the people building these windmills would love to have them somewhere on land.
        There are large windfarms all over the west. They pay farmers big bucks to put them in their wheat fields and have cattle graze under them. No problem.
        But the east is more densely populated, and there are not many places to put them near large urban areas where demand is highest.
        Look at what happened with the turbines they put up in Falmouth
        Windfarms on this scale would never get licensed in southeastern Ma.
        They couldn’t get permitted 6 miles off the cape..
        Now they are out 15 miles and people are still complaining.

        • Whoa Don, back it up!!! I made no mention or suggestions in my email as to WHERE on land these mills should be….you simply assumed that I meant in our area. I mentioned the windmills as that is what the MV Times topic was addressing. Truth be told, I’m not sure what would be the best energy source for our island and its delicate ecosystem. Maybe there is another solution that hasn’t been thought of yet. Sharing thoughts and listening to others folks ideas, taking the best parts, then putting them all together….there is no one good answer, Don.

          • Donna– I didn’t assume you meant to put them in in our area…
            I addressed the nimby problems with trying to put them on land in this area.
            The logistics and the physics associated with putting them on land in sparsely populated western states , and getting that electricity to the large urban populations of the eastern seaboard are ,at this point ,unsurmountable.
            I agree, there is no single good solution.
            These windfarms will only provide a fraction of our energy.
            Solar panels also.
            Everything has to be in the mix to get us off of our carbon addiction. I am even on record here as advocating for “pebble bed” nuclear reactors on the east coast– near large urban populations.
            In my opinion, everything and anything that can replace fossil fuels has to be on the table.
            The easiest and most cost effective one is clearly conservation.
            I am open to sharing thoughts and listening to ideas.
            However , I sometimes get criticized for not respecting the opinions of people when they use phrases like ” coal fired electric cars”. They may have the opinion that electric cars are “coal fired” but in reality , only .01 % of all the electricity generated in New England is from coal.
            People are entitled to their opinions, and I will respect most of them, but I have no tolerance for “alternative facts” .

  9. I find it very interesting that every time a person comments that doesn’t go with Mr. Kellers thinking they are so wrong. Wake up Mr.Keller and stop being a political “Know it all”.
    Have some respect for other people’s opinions it’s what makes the world go round.

    • Capt Bob.
      Thanks for your suggestion– I will try to be more respectful.
      But Sometimes they are just flat out lying about something, and i will point it out to them and often reference actual facts .
      Some things are subjective of course, and I will have my opinion, but I do listen to other peoples opinions, and I have respect for them.
      Of course when someone like Andy claims he wants ” to conserve energy and we do want to be thoughtful about gas and water and stewardship of lands and parks.”
      What can I say ? That’s a lie.. I’m gonna call it.
      And when someone claims there will be a half acre of cement surrounding each turbine, I will tell then that they are misinformed.
      They can have the opinion that there will be cement there, but the fact is it’s not true.
      When someone asks why the Danes are using us a “Guinea pigs” , and why don’t they have them off their coast ?” , am I being disrespectful to point out and link to the fact that they have nearly 600 off shore turbines in Danish waters ? The oldest one has been operating since 1991.
      Am I supposed to sit here and let people state verifiable falsehoods?
      If we are going to debate something as important as projects such as this, I for one would like to see a real debate.. With real information.
      I respect peoples opinions– not their “alternative facts”


  10. It’s charming that the primary effect of environmental legislation in this country has been to render NIMBY’s omnipotent, while doing very little to reduce our destruction of the natural forces upon which we as a species rely for survival. Well, not “charming” but this remark would be unpublishable if I used the correct word.

  11. Whales and birds have nothing to do with this opposition to Cape Wind. It’s the fossil fuel industry. Please take a minute to read this And this

    You can have your legitimate arguments against cape wind and debate is a good thing, but what’s going on here is not that.

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