Coalition Sues Feds For Approving Cape Wind

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A coalition of environmental and watchdog groups claim in a lawsuit that federal agencies responsible for approving a wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod violated federal law by endangering protected migratory birds.

The suit filed Friday in federal court in Washington alleges that required scientific studies were not done and that mandated protective measures were ignored in approving the 130-turbine project in Nantucket Sound.

The lawsuit — the first legal challenge to the project — alleges that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treat Act and National Environmental Policy Act.

"There were recommendations from Fish and Wildlife Service to actually have temporary shutdowns of the project during migratory bird periods," said Audra Parker, president of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. "And basically on Cape Wind's preference, and likely political pressure, those recommendations were removed."

Similarly, a lawyer for the plaintiffs says "science was manipulated and suppressed for political reasons."

The Fish and Wildlife Service insists its biological evaluation was thorough.

This program aired on June 25, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.