Buzzards Bay wind farm faces tough obstacles

Amidst the hype over the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound, developer Jay Cashman unveiled a proposal to erect up to 120 wind turbines in nearby Buzzards Bay. But a recent report by Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs Stephen Pritchard concludes that Cashman’s project would violate state law and could threaten an endangered bird species. The law in question is the 35-year-old Ocean Sanctuaries Act, which prohibits the “building of any structure on the seabed or under the subsoil” in the area that Cashman hopes to develop. The bird in question is the roseate tern; the report says the proposed location “is both within and proximate to the breeding, nesting, and foraging habitats” of the endangered species. Cashman, writes Pritchard, “faces a high threshold in addressing these issues.” The report, says Massachusetts state Rep. William Straus (D), is bureaucratese for, “[I]f you want to go ahead, knowing there’s a strong chance you’re going to be turned down, it’s up to you.”