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Right Whales At Center Of Expected Nantucket Offshore Wind Lawsuit

A baby right whale swims with its mother in Cape Cod Bay in 2019. (Amy James/Center for Coastal Studies/NOAA via AP)
A baby right whale swims with its mother in Cape Cod Bay in 2019. (Amy James/Center for Coastal Studies/NOAA via AP)

A group called Nantucket Residents Against Turbines has scheduled a press conference Wednesday to announce a federal lawsuit aimed at stopping the construction of offshore wind farms in waters south of the island.

The group indicated Tuesday that their suit will be based on efforts to protect the Northern Atlantic right whale, which NOAA describes as "one of the world's most endangered large whale species, with less than 400 individuals remaining."

"The MA/RI wind lease areas cover one of the whale's last strongholds, for migration, foraging and raising their young," the group says on its website. "We are concerned with the adverse impacts from the increased construction vessel traffic, pile driving, and operational noise on the critically endangered NARW. NOAA fisheries determined the Vineyard Wind project, which is located in one of the last North Atlantic Right Whale foraging and nursery strongholds, and which will involve thousands of miles of vessel trips, will not jeopardize the species. This determination is not supported by the evidence."

The Biden administration in May issued final permits for Vineyard Wind, the nation's fist commercial-scale offshore wind project, and the administration is shouldering an aggressive offshore wind and renewable energy agenda that has been cheered by many environmental groups, climate activists and state policymakers.

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