Cheryl Andrews-Maltais: No consultation on wind project

"How profoundly disappointing it is to find out that the Department of the Interior has approved Cape Wind’s Construction and Operation Plan (COP); that the decision is not only being rushed through the approval process, but pushed forward without even a courtesy consultation with our Tribe before being announced in the press. Again.

Neither our Tribal Historic Preservation Office nor the tribal government was afforded the opportunity for a government-to-government consultation or direct non-public discussion on this COP, Environmental Assessment (EA) and, specifically, on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit approval issued by the Army Corps of Engineers, even though this project, if approved, will have a dramatic negative effect on the siltation levels in our waters.

Public forums and stakeholder meetings are not government-to-government consultation. And when the project proponents and “former” regulatory officials, who now work for the project, are in the room, the Tribe’s ability to speak candidly as our government-to-government relationship should afford us is compromised.

This COP will have a hugely negative adverse effect on tribal and local sustenance fishermen and the entire fishing industry, not to mention on the entire aquatic ecosystem. We sighted a Humpback Whale and her calf just last week. Last spring, we had 25% of the world’s population of the rare endangered North Atlantic Right Whale right here, including mothers and calves. This can only happen when the waters are in the right balance and cleanliness, not when they are loaded with silt. The project will most likely also adversely impact the tourism and recreational boating industry too."

Get the Story:
Cheryl Andrews-Maltais: Wampanoags Question Interior’s Trust Responsibility and Cape Wind Approval (Indian Country Today 4/21)

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