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FAA Gives Cape Wind Project Key Clearance

The Federal Aviation Administration has again ruled that the Cape Wind offshore wind project poses no hazard to local airplanes, months after a federal appeals court forced it to reconsider.

The FAA said in a statement Wednesday that after an aeronautical study, it had determined the project's 130 turbines wouldn't endanger local air traffic.

Last October, a federal appeals court overturned a previous FAA clearance of the Nantucket Sound wind farm, saying the agency hadn't adequately considered the project's effect on pilots who fly by sight only.

It's the fourth time the FAA has cleared the controversial project. A Cape Wind spokesman said the company was pleased, and the project is now closer to reality.

"This is a big step forward for Cape Wind," said the spokesman, Mark Rodgers. "This approval means that Cape Wind has approval to begin construction."

The approval comes as two powerful U.S. congressmen are asking the FAA to prove its previous Cape Wind clearance wasn't politically motivated.

Cape Wind opponents say the FAA is ignoring safety concerns.

"This is about the politics, not the merits of Cape Wind," said Audra Parker, of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

This program aired on August 15, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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