Did McKee’s appointment to the CRMC undermine the board’s credibility?

PROVIDENCE — At the end of a contentious five-hour hearing on the South Fork Wind Farm on May 25, the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council took up a motion by chairwoman Jennifer Cervenka.

She wanted to direct the developers of the large offshore wind farm proposed in Rhode Island Sound to sit down one more time with local fishermen to talk about the creation of a fund to compensate them for fishing losses caused by the project.

Ørsted and Eversource, partners on the 132-megawatt wind farm, had offered to pay into the fund over 30 years, making regular installments that would eventually total $12 million.

Lindsay McGovern, at an event in 2018. Her appointment to the Coastal Resources Management Council was confirmed less than two hours before the council met in May to take a crucial vote involving a wind farm project.

The fishermen asked for the money up front, knowing it would have greater value and be immediately available to cover upgrades to their boats and additional costs associated with having to work within the wind farm, or to pay them for lost days at sea during piledriving and other construction activity. 

More: Alleging ‘backroom deal,’ fishermen’s group opposes new plan for South Fork Wind Farm