Monhegan Island lawmaker backs bill to block wind turbines

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Siblings Alice, left, and Orion Pearce, of Pittsburgh, Pa., enjoy a stroll on the beach during the first day of their summer vacation on Monhegan Island, Maine, on Friday, June 21, 2002.

PORTLAND — A proposal before the Legislature would prevent the state from permitting an offshore wind energy project in the vicinity of Monhegan Island.

Monhegan Island is a tiny island about 12 nautical miles off of Maine’s mainland that is well known as a home to artists, seasonal residents and lobster fishermen. Maine Aqua Ventus intends to install a two-turbine, 12-megawatt project off its coast.

Republican state Sen. Dana Dow, who represents the island in the State House, wants to prevent the project from happening. His proposal would create a prohibited zone where an offshore wind energy test area would not be able to be located.

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Dow’s proposal would also prohibit the state from issuing a permit for an offshore wind project within 10 nautical miles of the Monhegan Lobster Conservation Area.

Sharlie Sudduth, of Marion, Mass., packs up her easel and paints after spending a week on Monhegan Island, Maine, attending a painting workshop Friday, June 21, 2002. The tiny island, 10-miles off the coast of Maine, has about 60-year-round residents and attracts close to one-thousand visitors a day during the summer months.Gulls are attracted to the bait bag held by sternman Brandon Demmons while working aboard a a lobster fishing boat, Tuesday, July 29, 2014, off of Monhegan Island. The sternman’s main task is to replace bags of dead herring after the captain removes the lobsters from the hauled trap.Andy Benoit paints a view of the harbor of Monhegan Island, Maine July, 12, 1998. For over a hundred years, artists, naturalists, and hikers have been coming to this island, which is 10 miles off the coast of Maine.

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