Atlantic Shores Visual Impact Assessment/Diagram of Project Components


BRIGANTINE – A lawsuit to stop the Atlantic Shores offshore wind farm project was tossed out of court Thursday because the towns have no standing to bring the lawsuit, a Mercer County Superior Court Judge has decided.

“It’s disturbing that a judge would say something like that,” Ventnor Mayor Lance Landgraf said. “After all, we represent the residents of New Jersey.”

Eight shore communities – Brigantine and Ventnor in Atlantic County, and Long Beach Township, Beach Haven, Ship Bottom, Surf City, Harvey Cedars and Barnegat Light in Ocean County – filed the lawsuit to stop the Atlantic Shores wind turbine project on Dec. 1, 2023.

Brigantine Mayor Vince Sera also expressed disappointment that the case was dismissed.

The project proposes to build more than 200 wind turbines nine to 20 miles off the coast of New Jersey. According to representatives in Long Beach Township, the turbines are 1,048 feet tall and will be clearly visible from the beach.

“We are all disappointed that the judge dismissed the case stating that neither homeowners nor municipalities have standing in this case,” Sera said in a release.

The towns sought an independent review of the wind turbine project stating that the NJ Department of Environmental Protection was violating its own coastal regulations.

The court filing highlighted concerns about the project’s potential impact on local economies, including fishing and tourism, property values, the environment and marine life.

Sera emphasized that the project’s scale and proximity would make it one of the largest, densest and closest offshore wind farms in the world.

“The DEP has a responsibility to adhere to their own Coastal Regulations, which prohibit development that threaten the scenic view and environment of the New Jersey Shore” Sera said.

Sera said all eight mayors expressed concern about the DEP’s ability to make a fair and impartial decision, citing the intense pressure from the Murphy administration.

“Personally, I have a very hard time understanding how homeowners and municipalities have no standing in this case when these ocean wind projects will have major negative impacts to the ocean environment, our local economies, the value of people’s homes, and will dramatically increase the cost of electricity paid by everyone in New Jersey,” Sera said.

Sera said he believes Gov. Murphy is playing politics and doing “everything in its power to force these ocean wind projects down people’s throats without any regard to the long-term and potentially irreversible damage that they will cause.”

Ventnor provided $10,000 to join the lawsuit filed by attorneys at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, PC.

Landgraf said the Ventnor Board of Commissioners would hold an executive session at its next meeting Thursday, April 25 to determine if the commissioners are willing to spend additional taxpayer dollars to continue the lawsuit in a higher court.

He said the eight municipalities will mount a new push against the DEP and the BPU (Board of Public Utilities) to get relief from the proposed project.

“If they put these things 10 miles off our coast, it will impact everything,” Landgraf said.

Murphy has directed the BPU to launch a new offshore wind solicitation to reaffirm the state’s efforts to achieve a 100% clean energy economy by 2035.

“New Jersey can – and will – continue to remain a burgeoning offshore wind development hub that attracts new projects and their accompanying economic and environmental benefits for generations to come,” Murphy said in November. “These new projects, along with the Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind project awarded in 2021, will support tens of thousands of good-paying, family-sustaining jobs for New Jerseyans while protecting the quality of the air our children breathe and making good on the promise of affordable clean energy produced right here in the Garden State.”


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Categories: Downbeach

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.