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Wind farm view from Hanging Rock

Wind Farm Federal Appeal: FAQs

The Preservation Society of Newport County announced on November 22, 2023, that it was appealing federal agency approval of two wind farms off the Rhode Island coast in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The appeals detail the failure of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to comply with the heightened levels of review required under the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act.

Developers have to date proposed nine massive wind farms off the near-coast. At least 492 turbines, each twice as tall as Rhode Island’s Superman Building or taller, will be visible, occupying up to 100% of the ocean views from key community sites for the next 30 years. BOEM concludes this will cause a “major adverse impact” to Newport’s sense of place and economy. Danish developer Orsted’s own study suggests that this level of ocean industrialization could lead to losses to Newport’s heritage tourism economy of an estimated $5.17 billion and thousands of jobs, not including inflation, property value reductions, and loss of tax revenues. Yet, BOEM is allowing the developers to proceed without appropriately mapping these harms and without responsibly mitigating them.

The Preservation Society is represented by the law firm Cultural Heritage Partners, PLLC, which has developed a webpage with additional information. Read the FAQs, media release and appeal documents here.

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