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Wind Warriors vs US Wind

Five beach towns secretly worked to favor US Wind to obtain funding of $100,000/year from US Wind.  The public was kept in the dark and before the public could object, the towns refused to make public comments on federal Environmental Impact Statements, eliminating any possibility of the towns having standing to sue to protect their property owners from lost tourism and lower property values.  


This is an eye opener of how the beach towns coordinated with US Wind.  For example, by not commenting on BOEM's Draft Environmental Impact Statement the towns that agreed do not have standing to sue. - Anonymous.

Beach Towns Secretly Coordinated With US Wind for Two Years

On April 25, 2024, a South Bethany resident filed a petition with the Delaware Department of Justice against the Association of Coastal Towns (ACT) for long-running violations of Delaware's Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings statue (FOIA) and requests that ACT be directed to hold a public meeting to reveal what ACT had considered in cooperation with US Wind over the past two years without FOIA compliant public involvement.


More specifically, Mr. Edward Bintz, has petitioned that ACT's failure to comply with FOIA statue has resulted in the public being denied a role, or even knowing about, ACT's decision making on matters of public interest over the past two years relating to US Wind's offshore wind project. Read the entire petition below. The five coastal towns of ACT named in the petition include Rehoboth Beach, Henlopen Acres, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach and South Bethany. Fenwick Island and Lewes did not participate in these negotiations.


FOIA Petition - ACT community Benefits discussions
.pdf
Download PDF • 2.64MB


The Petition In Brief


ACT Made Decisions Without Public Knowledge or Input

Without public knowledge ACT decided to open discussions with US Wind for a "Community Benefits Package" instead of considering opposing the project or even modifying the agreement. ACT July 7, 2022 Non-Public Meeting Minutes.


ACT's desire for "community benefits", the $100,000 annual payment from US Wind, allowed US Wind to have "excessive influence" over ACT's decision making with respect to the US Wind Project.


Without public knowledge, ACT determined, that the US Wind Project would not adversely affect tourism. "Tourism will not be impacted ..." ACT April 7, 2022 Non-Public Meeting Minutes.


Without public knowledge, ACT determined, that it was not possible for the US Wind Project to be relocated further offshore, as noted in ACT April 7, 2022 Non-Public Meeting Minutes.


US Wind Excessive Influence Over ACT

As example of the excessive influence US Wind had on ACT, ACT's agenda for its March 2, 2023 quarterly "public" meeting initially included the agenda item:


"Discuss and possibly vote on next steps concerning moratorium on windfarms due to marine life issues."


After seeing this upcoming ACT agenda item, the US Wind representative emailed two ACT mayors, questioning inclusion of the agenda item. In response to US Wind's email, an ACT mayor emailed two other mayors about the agenda item stating that "this is not helpful for the discussions we are having with the windfarm companies." The agenda item was subsequently removed from ACT's March 2, 2023 meeting agenda, with a thank you email from the US Wind representative in reply: "Thank you for your response to the ACT issue last week ... I recognize that the public tactics being used by Fenwick likely puts you in a difficult position..."


Exhibit F (full email string).

US Wind Rep: "I just saw the act agenda for next week includes discuss and possibly vote on next steps concerning moratorium on wind farms due marine life issue. That caught me by surprise as I hadn't gotten any questions after sending the opinions of subject matter experts to the mayors and town managers. Is the ACT really considering an opposition statement on this issue?"


ACT Mayor: "This is not helpful for the discussions we are having with the windfarm companies."


ACT Mayor: "I understand I'll reach out to Mike and explain, sorry for creating an issue."


ACT Mayor: "I think we should poll the mayors to remove this from the agenda."


US Wind Rep: "I wanted to touch base on a couple of issues. First thank you for you response to the ACT issue last week, I really appreciated your engagement before the meeting and the approach you took in the meeting. Second, I recognize that the public tactics being used by Fenwick likely puts you in a difficult position that hasn't been helped by US Wind's delays in our discussions. To the second point, we are getting closer getting everything nailed down with regard to federal and state permitting requirements given our proposed routes and will then be able to begin concrete benefits discussions."

Remember, this is March 2023!


ACT Well Aware of Potential Damages to Coastal Towns

As noted in the ACT April 7, 2022 Non-Public Meeting Minutes: "coastal residents deserve something for the changing of their landscape and reduction in the beauty of the shoreline ..." The ACT mayors here seem to acknowledge that coastal towns would be adversely affected by offshore wind turbines and use this as justification for accepting the Community Benefits package.


The Importance of Commenting on BOEM's Environmental Impact Statement

Submitting comments on the BOEM's draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was the only formal opportunity for ACT and member towns to influence BOEM's EIS review process and represent the constituents' views, yet ACTS and member towns, other than Fenwick Island, did not submit comments to BOEM, despite that at the Bethany Beach town hall meeting January 2024, the vast majority of the public comments were against the Community Benefits Agreement and the US Wind Project. Watch recorded meeting here.


Also, when Sea Colony called for a resolution calling for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to abandon wind farm lease areas that are within 30 miles of the Delaware coast, ACT, without public input, decided not to support this resolution. The May 5, 2022 ACT minutes stated that "we need to move rapidly for funding from these companies."


ACT Has Been Negotiating With US Wind for 2 Years

Despite the fact that US Wind released a press release in December 28, 2023 announcing the proposed Community Benefits Agreement entitled "US Wind Initiates Benefits Discussions With Delaware Coastal Towns" and stated that the ACT towns "have begun to evaluate the offer", in actuality US Wind had already been negotiating with ACT mayors for an extended period prior to that. In fact ACT hired a consultant, Bonnie Ram, and paid her $10,000 to negotiate with US Wind, funded by taxpayers.


Further proof of these extensive dealings between US Wind and ACT include scores of emails among US Wind and ACT, multiple meetings between ACT mayors and US Wind and at least 3-4 exchanges of Community Benefits Agreement drafts between US Wind and ACT mayors PRIOR to the posting of the US Wind press release.


ACT Violations of the FOIA Statute

Per Delaware case law recognized by the Office of the Attorney General, "[public bodies] should not have the power to decide what is good for the public to know." See e.g. Del. Op. Att'y Gen. 15-IB08 (November 3, 2015) citing Del. Solid Waste Auth. v. The News Journal Co., 480 A.2d 628,631 (Del. 1984).


  1. ACT's holding meeting without FOIA-compliant public notice or public participation in violation of 29 Del. C. 10004.

  2. ACT's failing to maintain meeting minutes for non-regularly scheduled meetings that occurred on December 5, 2023, December 20, 2023, and September 27, 2022 in violation of 29 Del.C. 10004(f).

  3. ACT's ongoing failure to comply with 29 Del. C. 10003, including failing to (a) maintain a web portal for receiving FOIA requests, (b) implement a policy for addressing FOIA requests, and (c) designate FOIA coordinator.


Now that you know all of this, what do you think? One recommendation is that when the ACT Town Mayors lawyer up, and they will, that the beach town citizens should not foot the bill for their legal fees. Let Delaware Attorney General know that you would like these FOIA violations by ACT investigated, email Kathleen Jennings here.

Email corrections or to request additional information at info@38thdrcp.com.


Did US Wind collude with ACT Town Mayors and hide information from the public?

  • They sure did! ACT Town Mayors need to be held responsible.

  • I need more information and will read the petition myself.

  • ACT Town Mayors acted appropriately, acting on our behalf.


Town Hall Meeting on Offshore Wind Wednesday May 1, 6pm, IRHS

Town Hall on Offshore Wind, sponsored by Senator Hocker and Representative Gray, Wednesday, May 1, 6:00 pm at Indian River High School, 29772 Armory Road, Dagsboro. Representatives from DNREC and US Wind will be present.


Offshore Wind Update

Delaware Democrats in Power are on track to make offshore wind turbines a reality, by allowing the high voltage beach decimating cables to come ashore onto 3Rs Delaware State Park, and to then actively seek bids from the foreign-owned-empty-shell-companies who put profit above protecting marine life and endangering the security of our most precious resource, our coastline border.


Future 3Rs State Park Beach when high voltage cable comes ashore
Future 3Rs State Park Beach when high voltage cable comes ashore

YOU who are reading this, MUST now do something. You MUST email the people who may have the most influence right now in this Senate process, and that is Sponsor of SB 265, Stephanie Hanson, and members of the Senate Finance Committee.



SAMPLE EMAIL

Subject Line: Vote NO SB 265

SB 265 will decimate our State Park 3Rs beach, making it inhospitable to citizens and to wildlife, especially our horse shoe crab nurseries. Delaware should NOT be selling out one of our most precious natural resources, which are limited, to make a quick buck, selling these rights to bring onshore high voltage cables, so that foreign owned empty shell companies can make a quick buck, also without ensuring their project with a bond, with unproven success and more than likely definite environmental damage and increased energy prices for already strained Delaware citizens. We the people cannot afford this, and neither can Delaware as a State, or our Nation's security. 


There is no amount of money that is worth sacrificing our coastline, our safety, and the sanctity of marine life. 


Vote NO to SB 265, and let's keep Delaware beaches out of the reaches of greedy foreign owned companies. 


Email Stephanie Hanson and ALL the Senators who sit on this committee, including the republican senators, so our republican senators do not give up the fight and cave to the relentless pro wind farm whining, like giving in to spoiled children out of exasperation.


Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) will be holding a pro-offshore windfarm meeting Wednesday June 5, 4:00pm, at the Beacon Middle School in Lewes, 19483 John J. Williams Hwy. This is an informational presentation, with poster boards and no ability to comment, but your presence is needed! The pro-windfarm Sierra Club will be demonstrating outside the school, starting at 3pm. This presentation, in particular, is about requesting permitting to bring the high voltage electric cables onto 3Rs State Park Beach.


State Public Meeting Calendar Notice

US Wind, Inc., proposes to develop a commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project in the Lease Area known as Lease OCS–A 0490 offshore of Maryland. The proposed project is comprised of up to 121 wind turbine generators, up to four offshore substations, up to four offshore/onshore export cables, and one meteorological tower, in a gridded array pattern distributed across the Lease Area.


Building the offshore wind turbines for the project will require a federal permitting process (separate from any state process). Bringing the power lines ashore in Delaware will require permits and authorizations from the state of Delaware — from the DNREC Divisions of Water and Watershed Stewardship.


The Public Information Session will help members of the public learn more about this proposed project prior to a July 9, 2024, Public Hearing.


The Information Session is the Department’s platform which provides the public the opportunity to review the applications and other related documents, as well as ask questions about the proposed project. The event will also include presentation boards from the Applicant, as well as from DNREC staff and various Federal partners.


NOTE: Questions and comments received at the Public Information Session are not part of the Hearing Record generated in this matter. Learn more about the proposed project, and review application materials, at dnrec.delaware.gov/us-wind/.


The key to killing the US Wind project (and Orsted coming back) is for DNREC to deny their state permits or request for more studies or re-routing of the cables. Any delay will probably have US WIND pull out of the project. They are bleeding tons of cash to high bond interest payments that they did not expect. They are hoping to get the project started sooner than later so the Public Utility Commissions (PUC) can allow utilities to start charging Delawareans and Maryland residents exorbitant electric rates. The PUC's are on the hook to the Governors etc. to make their "deals" with the wind farms come to fruition.   


Beached whale
Speak NOW or FOREVER hold your peace, like her. Speak for those who can't.


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