Ocean Wind and New Jersey DEP Face Court Challenge


Three groups – Save LBI, Defend Brigantine Beach and Protect Our Coast NJ – have filed suit in Superior Court challenging the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) approval of Ocean Wind 1.

The planned offshore wind project will consist of nearly 100 turbines to be located 15 miles off New Jersey’s coast, in the vicinity of Atlantic City and Ocean City, its busiest beach communities.

In a New Jersey Appellate Division filing, activist groups say that the turbines, at least 906 feet in height (with their blades, nearly as tall as the Empire State Building), will be fully visible from New Jersey’s beaches and will crush and destroy the seabed, with each tower weighing up to 5 million pounds.

“DEP has acknowledged the wind turbines will destroy marine habitat, compress the seafloor, severely damage marine communities, compromise migration corridors for endangered marine mammals, cause commercial fishing stocks to decline and injure the beach economy,” says Bruce Afran, attorney for the three groups. “Yet the state persists in the bizarre belief that this massive engineering project will not injure our state’s coastal zone, one of the most important marine communities on the East Coast and the core of New Jersey’s $47 billion tourist industry.”

Keith Moore, head of government affairs for Defend Brigantine Beach, says this appeal begins a series of state and federal legal challenges his group expects to file.

Danish engineering firm Orsted’s U.S. subsidiary, Ocean Wind LLC, is named as co-defendant in the suit along with New Jersey’s DEP. Under court rules, DEP now has 30 days to file the record with the appellate court, and briefs are expected to be filed by September.

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