Wampanoag File Suit to Stop Wind Farm in Nantucket Sound

Posted on July 13, 2011


The Wampanoag tribe has finally delivered on their long threatened lawsuit against the Department of the Interior, in an attempt to stop construction of Cape Wind in Nantucket Sound. The Wampanoag filed a complaint in the US District Court on July 6, alleging that construction of the 130-turbine offshore wind farm would be in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act.

The tribe uses the rising sun over the Sound in ceremonies, and they argue that the wind farm would interfere with that use.  The Massachusetts SHPO designated the Wampanoag as having a cultural heritage interest in the Sound, but whether this interest will be sufficient to block the wind farm remains to be seen.

This particular section of water is important because it used to be above ground, and the Wampanoag believe that the site is the resting ground of their ancestors.  Core samples have confirmed that this section was above ground between 9,000 to 13,000 years ago.

For more details, see these previous posts on the wind farm.  Or read Wampanoags Try to Stop Giant Wind Farm at the Courthouse News Service, or Wampanoags Sue in U.S. Court Against Cape Wind Associates.