Radio Report 1/24/08

The dozen or so participants in the press conference said they were dismayed that some people interpreted the recent draft environmental impact statement on Cape Wind as a final nod of approval, and said there's still outstanding information to be considered. For example, John Griffin of the Barnstable Airport Commission pointed out - correctly - that the FAA is taking a second look at the project and won't release their final assessment on aviation safety until the spring.

[chatting]

During a wine and h'orderves session following the conference, Wayne Kurker, owner of Hyannis Marina and founder of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, said the Coast Guard has yet to issue a finding on marine navigation safety.

KURKER: I think the coast guard is far from being satisfied.

Cape Wind officials confirm the company has received a request from the Coast Guard for further study on radar and sea navigation. But they say they're confident safety requirements will be met. Wayne Kurker finds that unlikely.

KURKER: I don't know what our reaction would be if, for example, the Coast Guard said 'no problem, we don't mind all you folks living around that danger'. I'm not sure what move we would make. But we're not going to just accept that because it's unconscionable to think you can put all those turbines in an area that is so busy.

According to CEO Glenn Wattley, the Alliance to Project Nantucket Sound has spent over $15 million dollars trying to stop the Cape Wind project. The Alliance, he said, is quote "committed to seeing this project fail". Cape Wind - equally committed to seeing the project succeed - says it's spent nearly $30 million in the permitting process. The Minerals Management Service, the federal agency reviewing Cape Wind is now accepting public comment on their draft environmental impact statement, and will hold three public hearings on the Cape and Islands this March.

myWGBH