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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Letter to the Editor

Latest US Wind changes questioned after hearing


Last Monday, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) held a public hearing regarding US Wind’s application to turn Ocean City’s small commercial fishing harbor into its Maintenance and Operations Facility (M&O).

Sadly, US Wind and MDE neglected to inform any elected official representing this area, or the public, of an altered application that massively downgraded the project until five hours before the hearing.

Such tactics belie US Wind’s “Transparency and Community Engagement Claims.” We have been lied to far too long both in Ocean City and Delaware Beaches. We are tired of “pretty posters,” as we witness the devastation to our north, and now to Virginia Beach homes and sea life. Reality is vastly different than US Wind’s “pretty posters.”

It appears, US Wind now proposes only two crew transfer boats and no equipment/maintenance vessels are needed to maintain and repair its OSW project.

How can this differ so vastly from the Construction and Operations plan, which states, “operation of the proposed action could generate up to seven vessels and an average of 1,644 annual transits with most trips consisting of service operation vessels or crew transfer vessels to and from Ocean City. Vessel traffic generated by proposed action could restrict maneuvering room and cause delays accessing ports.”?

This sudden change leaves one to believe untruths are being told and US Wind has embarked on a program to piecemeal this project to full original desires through small change applications it believes would be approved with little to no community resistance. I am here to let US Wind know all the near 15,000 (and growing) signatories to Protect Our Coast Delmarva’s petition, beg to differ.

How can any Maryland official support a project that will fiscally harm our state that has huge budget deficits and is struggling to pay for the new education mandates?

What do you think will happen to the budget if we allow the industrialization of our coastal waters estimated to kill Ocean City’s fiscal contributions by at least 15% (per Ørsted)?

How can you justify approving a M&O facility that will kill our seafood industry when the state recognizes it contributes $600 mil/year to our economy? Why massively harm OC’s recreational fishing when NOAA tells us that in 2019, (the latest data,) 6.8 million recreational trips happened in Maryland generating $268.2 million?

Why would Maryland even consider a project that will severely damage our economy, not save the planet, and is spearheaded by Mr. Grybowski; the man responsible for the debacle that is Block Island’s wind farm? The one that doesn’t work, leaks oil constantly and has cost the residents of Rhode Island over $30 million to keep the high voltage cables on the island’s beaches buried?

Not one part of this project is good for Maryland.

Dianna Harris
West Ocean City