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Fishing Industry Group RODA to Sue Government Over Vineyard Wind

A map of the Vineyard Wind lease area and cable corridor.
Vineyard Wind
A map of the Vineyard Wind lease area and cable corridor.

A fishing industry group is taking legal action against the federal government over the approval of Vineyard Wind.

Annie Hawkins, executive director of the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, says fishermen spent years going to meetings about Vineyard Wind, only to have their concerns largely ignored.

She says RODA plans to sue to prevent the same thing from happening for other wind farms off the U.S. Coast.

“We certainly don't want to let what in this case was a very, very flawed process move forward as it is,” she said.

Hawkins said the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has allowed Vineyard Wind to define what accommodations should be made for fishing.

“What's been really frustrating from Day 1 is that BOEM has been extraordinarily deferential to the offshore wind developers to come up with their own mitigation measures,” she said.

The fishing industry asked for four-mile-wide transit lanes through proposed wind farms south of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Those are not part of the Vineyard Wind plan.

Vineyard Wind declined to comment on RODA’s legal action; the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management did not respond to a request for comment.

RODA plans to file a legal complaint within a few weeks.

On Monday, the group filed papers asking the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to clarify which court should hear the lawsuit.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.