Block Islanders Oppose Fee Waiver from Rhode Island CRMC to Deepwater Wind

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Objection Filed to Deepwater Wind, Rhode Island, $700,000 Fee Waiver Request, announces Maggie and Michael Delia.

Block Island homeowners, Maggie and Michael Delia, have filed an objection to Deepwater Wind’s (DWW) request to have the Coastal Resource Management Council waive a $700,000 plus application fee to examine possible permits for Deepwater Wind’s proposed $260 million wind farm and cable project in Block Island waters. Deepwater Wind has proposed to build a 30 Megawatt Wind Farm in the State waters off Block Island.

The objection was filed Friday, January 11 at the CRMC offices in Wakefield Rhode Island in the CRMC's file 2012-09-065, without an internal number. Deepwater's application is available in paper format at CRMC offices.

According to the objection in the Coastal Resource Management Council (CRMC) file, Deepwater had previously entered into a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) as the preferred developer for off-shore wind in Rhode Island. That preferred developer status was granted after a negotiation with the state of Rhode Island’s Economic Development Commission and governor's office in which Deepwater agreed to reimburse the state for financing the SAMP process to be used in determining, among other things, an alternate energy zone in state waters. Deepwater’s plan is to erect the wind farm of up to 660 foot high turbines in that zone. The JDA provides that Deepwater would not pursue incentives other than those specifically set forth in the JDA.

The objection states in part that, “CRMC’s ‘60 Day Public Notice’ on the application fails to note that the required application fee has not been paid, and such notice is in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. No provision of the CRMC regulations allow the filing fee to be waived.” The CRMC is a quasi-judicial body, with powers similar to a court. It was formed under the Federal Coastal Resource Management Act of 1971 declaring that “The Congress finds and declares that it is the national policy--to preserve, protect, develop, and where possible, to restore or enhance, the resources of the Nation's coastal zone for this and succeeding generations.”

The Delia’s commented that, "Although the CRMC might fulfill the development portion of the policy, their ability to preserve and protect has been compromised by Rhode Island’s JDA, imposing CRMC approval of Deepwater’s projects.”

The JDA states that, “the CRMC shall adopt the SAMP” and that “DWW shall reimburse the State…for costs reasonably expended by the CRMC in connection with the SAMP …up to a maximum of $3.2 million dollars.” The SAMP is the document being used by the CRMC to determine the permissibility of the DWW Turbine project.

“At a time when Rhode Island is in desperate need of money for other projects, it is not in the taxpayers’ best interests to waive a fee of $700,000 for Deepwater Wind which is backed by one of the world’s largest hedge fund firms,” the Delia’s noted.

The Block Islanders’ opposition to Deepwater’s waiver request for the $700,000 application fee is stated in a filing at CRMC. The CRMC is holding a public comment period which they have now extended until February 4th.

Contact information for the CRMC is:
Rhode Island Coastal Resources
Management Council
Oliver H. Stedman Government Center
4808 Tower Hill Road
Wakefield, RI 02879

For more information on Deepwater’s current request for taxpayer subsidy please write to postmaster(at)aworldthatworks(dot)org.

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Michael & Maggie Delia

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