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Southern Environmental Law Center reports Dominion wind project moving forward despite lawsuit

right whale
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Dominion Energy says it will still move forward with construction of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project in early May, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center, which supports the effort.

This week, a federal judge asked for clarification on the plans for protecting endangered North Atlantic right whales.

The project, SELC said, is critical for Virginia’s clean energy future and to address climate change. The project would power 900,000 homes.

“We’ve seen time and time again fossil fuel funded groups that have no interest in protecting endangered whales trying to stop offshore wind development simply to push their own agendas forward,” said Grayson Holmes, a senior attorney in SELC’s Virginia office. “These groups disingenuously sought an emergency order to block construction during the window of time when most right whales have moved out of Virginia’s waters.

“Despite efforts to stall it, the CVOW project is an example of offshore wind done right.”

The Heartland Institute, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and the National Legal and Policy Center are suing Dominion and the Biden Administration claiming they have not done the legally required research to determine the project won’t harm the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale.

In Monday’s hearing, Judge AliKhan questioned Dominion Energy on approval by the federal government for its five mitigation plans, the coalition reported.

The judge ordered Dominion to file a status report on approval by this Friday, May 3.

She also ordered Dominion and the Biden Administration to file their response to the coalition’s lawsuit by May 6 and for the coalition to file its response by May 9.

The judge is expected to rule on the preliminary injunction shortly thereafter, according to a news release sent by The Heartland Institute Wednesday.

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Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.