Offshore Development Coalition Files Petition Over Offshore Wind Project

The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, a membership-based coalition of fishing industry associations and companies, filed a petition for review in the First Circuit Court of Appeals in opposition to Vineyard Wind 1, an offshore wind energy project, on Monday. The fishing coalition claims its concerns over the project were ignored during the leasing process. 

“The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)’s hasty approval of this project, which could be the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind installation, adds unacceptable risk to this sustainable industry without any effort to minimize unreasonable interference with traditional and well-managed seafood production and navigation,” RODA stated in a press release.

The design of Vineyard Wind, which was approved by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland in July, would endanger fishermen by placing turbines too close together for fishing vessels to safely navigate in inclement weather or heavy seas, RODA said. In addition, the fishing industry is concerned about the impact of offshore wind on the ocean ecosystem and shoreside communities. 

“The federal government must provide prudent and unbiased oversight in energy policy, carefully balancing multiple public interests. Instead, BOEM has failed to sincerely consider any mitigation measures beyond those voluntarily suggested by the investment banks and multinational energy giants to which it is leasing federal lands and waters,” RODA stated in the press release. “Climate change must be addressed, but in a way that deliberatively minimizes these emerging technologies’ direct impacts to marine ecosystems, biodiversity, and food security.”

The plaintiffs are represented by Marzulla Law LLC