Health & Safety

What health and safety protocols will you deploy?

Mayflower Wind has adopted a “safety first, safety always” philosophy and aims to achieve zero recordable and lost-time incidents.

The project will:

  • Provide a systematic approach to health, safety, security and environment (HSSE) and social performance (SP) management designed to ensure compliance with applicable law and to achieve continuous performance improvement;
  • Commit to conduct all operations in a safe and diligent manner and to reduce risks associated with the operations; and,
  • Provide any necessary measures or plans to address emergency events.

Managing risk for Mayflower Wind includes:

  • Setting targets for improvement and monthly performance reporting;
  • Requiring contractors to manage HSSE risks in line with our policies;
  • Ensuring that HSSE and SP is the responsibility of all managers, teams and individuals;
  • Providing proactive and respectful engagement with neighbors and impacted communities
  • Permitting any individual to stop any work, or prevent any work from starting, where adequate controls of HSSE and SP risks are found not to be in place;
  • Including HSSE performance in the appraisal of operating staff and contractors and reward them accordingly; and
  • Applying proven “Life Saving Rules” for all work activities.
How will you mitigate issues related to navigational safety and commercial fisheries?

Mayflower Wind and the other New England offshore leaseholders have proposed a collaborative regional layout for wind turbines across respective federal offshore lease areas. This uniform grid pattern has at least three lines of orientation and standard spacing: lanes for vessel transit oriented in a northwest to southwest direction at 0.7 nautical mile wide; lanes for commercial fishing vessels actively engaged in fishing oriented in an east to west direction at 1 nautical mile wide; and lanes for US Coast Guard search and rescue operations oriented in a north to south and east to west direction at 1 nautical mile wide.

This layout creates more distance between turbines than any offshore wind projects operating globally, establishing more than 200 transit lanes in all directions through the lease areas.

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) determined in its May 2020 Massachusetts Rhode Island Port Access Route Study (MARIPARS) that this type of “standard and uniform grid pattern” layout would “maximize safe navigation” and allow for “safe navigation and continuity of USCG missions through seven adjacent wind farm leases over more than 1400 square miles of ocean.”

Do electric and magnetic fields (EMF) from the project impact human health?

EMF is produced by both natural and man-made means. EMF is a part of our everyday lives and is present around household appliances, electronics, as well as power lines. Whenever there is a flow of electricity, both electric and magnetic fields are created.

For over 40 years there has been a great deal of scientific studies to determine whether EMF affect human health. The World Health Organization (WHO) released a review of research on EMF and human health that was consistent with the findings of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and other national and international research reviews. The WHO report concluded that the cumulative evidence was not sufficient to indicate a causal relationship between EMF and any disease, including cancer.

The International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) established the health-based guideline for public exposure to EMF at 2,000 milliGause (mG).  The extremely low frequency EMF associated with the Mayflower Wind project will be substantially lower than the ICNIRP guidelines.

What are the noise impacts of the landfall and underground cabling?

Noise emitting activities during construction of the landfall and underground cabling will include excavation and installation of the trench, duct bank, and manhole system, as well as backfill and compaction, pavement restoration, and splicing activities. Sound levels will vary among these activities, depending on the equipment used. Mayflower Wind will use equipment like that used in typical public works projects.

Mayflower Wind will comply with applicable sections of state air quality regulations regarding unnecessary noise from sound-emitting construction equipment.

During operation, cables will not produce noticeable noise.

What are the noise impacts of the substation?

The substation will contain sound-producing electrical equipment. As the substation design is developed, the substation equipment and layout is refined, Mayflower Wind will include noise considerations as a key factor of the design process.

Mayflower will work to minimize noise impacts on nearby receptors through the use of multiple potential strategies including, low-noise transformers, housing or enclosing of certain substation components, as well as sound barriers.

Mayflower Wind will comply with all applicable noise standards, including the 10 dBA limit at nearby residences and no ‘pure tones” as defined by the MassDEP Noise Policy.

How will the project withstand hurricanes, n’oreasters, and other storms?

The design of wind turbine systems involves the use of models to understand how different loads, like winds and waves, will impact a wind turbine and its foundation during extreme situations. Design standards for offshore wind farms are based on lessons learned from turbines that have survived typhoons in Asia and on standards for offshore oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, many of which have survived major hurricanes.

Will the project have a fire safety plan?

Mayflower Wind will have an emergency response plan as part of the project’s overall safety management system, which will address fire safety. The plan embodies an incident response and command structure which involves working with first responders, especially the Falmouth Fire Department. The plan will incorporate the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) lessons learned and guidance for substation fires and working with first responders.

Will the project have a spill plan?

Mayflower Wind will include spill response in its emergency response plan as part of the project’s overall safety management system. The emergency response and notification procedures included in the plan will be used for the management and avoidance of the release of oils to the environment. Mayflower Wind will coordinate with the Falmouth Fire Department in developing the plan and provide copies to the local response agencies. Proper spill containment kits and spill control accessories will be strategically placed at the substation and will include absorbent pads, temporary berms, absorbent socks, drip pans, drain covers/plugs, over pack containers all for immediate use in the event of any inadvertent spills or leaks. All operators will be trained in the use and deployment of this spill prevention equipment.