Description: Lawsuit challenging federal review and approvals for the Vineyard Wind offshore wind project.
Allco Renewable Energy Ltd. v. Haaland (Vineyard Wind)
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 06/30/2022 Memorandum and Order Download ESA and OCSLA counts dismissed without prejudice. On June 30, the court dismissed without prejudice the solar developer’s claims under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) because the developer had not provided the requisite notice prior to filing the claims. 06/13/2022 Memorandum and Order Download Motion to sever granted and South Fork Wind claims to proceed in a new independent action. Massachusetts Federal Court Said Challenges to Vineyard Wind and South Fork Wind Projects Should Proceed in Separate Actions. On June 13, 2022, the federal district court for the District of Massachusetts granted a motion to sever a solar energy developer’s challenges to the South Fork Wind offshore wind turbine project from the developer’s challenge to the Vineyard Wind Project. The court found that each project involved “a wholly distinct set of federal approvals,” that the claims “hinge on highly fact specific questions as to the adequacy of two separate agency review processes, supported by two distinct administrative records,” and that “the projects themselves were of markedly different size and scope, to be constructed in different locations, designed to provide electricity to homeowners in different states, and pursued by different companies.” The court also noted that the administrative record supporting the South Fork Wind project was not available when the federal defendants approved the Vineyard Wind Project. The court therefore concluded that the interests of justice and economy supported considering the South Fork Wind claims in a separate action. 04/18/2022 Reply Download Reply filed in support of Vineyard Wind 1 LLC's motion for judgment on the pleadings. 04/15/2022 Amicus Brief Download Brief filed by Commonwealth of Massachusetts as amicus curiae in support of defendants' motion to dismiss. 04/15/2022 Reply Download Reply filed in support of federal defendants' motion to dismiss the first amended complaint. 03/28/2022 Opposition Download Memorandum filed by plaintiffs in opposition to Vineyard Wind 1 LLC's motion for judgment on the pleadings. 03/27/2022 Opposition Download Memorandum filed by plaintiff in opposition to defendants' motion to sever. 03/27/2022 Opposition Download Memorandum filed by plaintiff in opposition to South Fork Wind LLC's motion to intervene. 03/23/2022 Opposition Download Memorandum filed by plaintiff in opposition to defendants' motion to dismiss the first amended complaint. 03/15/2022 Motion Download Motion filed by Vineyard Wind 1 LLC's motion to join in defendants' motion to sever claims relating to federal approval of the South Fork offshore wind project. 03/15/2022 Motion to Intervene Download Memorandum of law filed in support of South Fork Wind, LLC's motion to intervene as an intervenor-defendant. 03/14/2022 Motion Download Memorandum of law filed in support of Vineyard Wind 1 LLC's motion for judgment on the pleadings. 03/14/2022 Motion Download Memorandum filed by federal defendants in support of motion in the alternative to sever claims relating to federal approval of the South Fork offshore wind project. 03/09/2022 Motion to Dismiss Download Memorandum filed in support of federal defendants' motion to dismiss the first amended complaint. 03/02/2022 Order Motions to dismiss denied without prejudice in light of filing of amended complaint. 02/23/2022 Complaint Download First amended complaint filed. 02/17/2022 Amicus Motion Download Motion for leave to file amicus curiae brief filed by Massachusetts Attorney General. 02/08/2022 Motion Download Motion to join defendants' motion to dismiss filed by intervenor Vineyard Wind 1 LLC. 02/08/2022 Motion to Dismiss Download Memorandum filed in support of intervenor-defendant's motion to dismiss. 02/02/2022 Motion to Dismiss Download Memorandum filed in support of federal defendants' motion to dismiss. 01/07/2022 Memorandum and Order Download Motion by Vineyard Wind 1 LLC to intervene granted. Federal Court Allowed Company to Intervene to Defend Approvals of Offshore Wind Project. The federal district court for the District of Massachusetts granted Vineyard Wind 1 LLC permission to intervene to defend federal authorizations of the Vineyard Wind offshore wind project against two lawsuits asserting violations of the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and Administrative Procedure Act. The court concluded that at this juncture Vineyard Wind 1 LLC was not entitled to intervention as of right because even though the company had a protectible interest that could be impaired by the litigation, the company did not persuade the court that the “asymmetrical interests” of the company and the government defendants would prevent the government from adequately representing the company’s interests. The court found, however, that permissive intervention was appropriate. 09/16/2021 Motion to Intervene Download Memorandum of law filed by Vineyard Wind 1 LLC filed in support of motion for leave to intervene. 07/18/2021 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Solar Company Challenged Federal Approvals for Offshore Wind Project. Two related companies that own, operate, and develop solar electric generating facilities and the president and senior general counsel (also a part-time resident of Edgartown, Massachusetts) filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the District of Massachusetts challenging the Vineyard Wind Project, an 800-megawatt offshore wind farm that would be the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the United States. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants violated NEPA, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The complaint’s allegations included that the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) failed to analyze the cumulative and lifecycle greenhouse gas impacts of offshore wind projects, and that the FEIS assumed, without analysis, that offshore wind generation would not itself add to global warming over the next 10 years and that offshore wind would displace natural gas generation and not other forms of renewable energy generation. The complaint also alleged that the FEIS did not take a hard look at warming generated by the project’s alteration of wind flow. The plaintiffs contended that the defendants should have evaluated a no-action alternative’s climate effects and effects on onshore renewable energy. In addition, the complaint alleged that the FEIS failed to properly analyze climate change effects on hurricanes that may impact the project and that the FEIS was “riddled with over-assessments of the purported benefits” of the project, including climate benefits. Another climate change-related allegation was an alleged failure to consider the impacts of the project and climate change on the food supply for the North Atlantic Right Whale