Managing the coastline

Managing the coastline

July 6, 2006

THE 1,500 MILES of Massachusetts coastline are increasingly attracting developers who want to use the water for pipelines or cables, wind turbines, liquefied natural gas terminals, or sand and gravel mines. On land, such projects are subject to zoning and land-use regulations. On the three offshore miles under state control, regulation is much more ad hoc... The ocean management bill is the result of a task force established by Governor Romney in June 2003 that included 23 representatives of the federal, state, and local government, fishing associations, other marine trades, conservation organizations, and universities...

Backers of the bill say that it would not place any restrictions on the Cape Wind proposal for a wind farm in Nantucket Sound. The Cape Wind turbines are beyond the 3 miles under state jurisdiction, and the underwater connecting cable of the project, which has received approval from the state Energy Facilities Siting Board, is grandfathered under the terms of the bill. The proposed wind farm for Buzzards Bay would, however, be subject to the management plan if the plan is in place before the project's developer completes certain regulatory steps...

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