Environmental/Marine Use Compatibility
A final supplemental environmental impact statement of the Cape Wind offshore wind project has been released by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. BOEM’s final SEIS had been vacated by the D.C. Circuit Court. As requested by the court. the updated SEIS includes geological surveys to ensure the seafloor can support wind turbines.
In this letter to BOEM, Rhode Island encourages BOEM to consider the Rhode Island model of stakeholder engagement and to engage with Rhode Island stakeholders as BOEM reviews NY wind energy area development plans. Development plans may impact RI commercial fishermen. Rhode Island qualifies as an "affected state" and should be eligible to participate in the interstate renewable energy task force for the NY wind energy area.
The New York Wind Energy Area location poses problems for Rhode Island commercial fishermen, impacing squid and sea scallop fisheries, according to RIDEM's analysis. This document summarizes Rhode Island stakeholders' concerns expressed at a public meeting on 18 May 2016.
The report is titled Socio-Economic Impact of Outer Continental Shelf Wind Energy Development on Fisheries in the U.S. Atlantic. Recognizing the importance that commercial and recreational fisheries play in the U.S. economy and to food supply, BOEM worked with the National Marine Fisheries Service to better understand fishing activity as it relates to areas of potential offshore wind energy development.
BOEM has announced the availability of a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Cape Wind Energy Project. The supplement addresses U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and BOEM’s failure to comply with the Endangered Species Act or the National Environmental Policy Act when a lease was issued. These documents can be found on BOEM's website.