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The Interior Department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) has filed the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the Cape Wind Energy Project with the Environmental Protection Agency.

The MMS will begin accepting comments on the DEIS on Jan. 18, when a notice of availability for the DEIS is published in the Federal Register. The DEIS was made available online earlier than usual to allow interested parties time to review the nearly 2,000 page document. Written comments will be accepted through March 20, and MMS will hold public hearings on the document during that month.

The DEIS considered all reasonable alternatives to the proposed action, including a no-action alternative. Seven alternatives are analyzed in detail in the DEIS, including the proposed no action, a smaller configuration, phased development, a condensed array at the Horseshoe Shoal site in Nantucket Sound or alternative sites at Monomoy Shoals and south of Tuckernuck Island.

"The draft environmental impact statement is a crucial step forward in completing our review of the Cape Wind Energy Project," says MMS Director Randall Luthi. "Cape Wind is the first offshore wind energy project to come before MMS for review, and public input is a critical element of the review process."

For more information, go to mmms.gov.



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