As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today announced it has completed its environmental review of potential impacts from offshore wind energy leasing activities in the Humboldt Wind Energy Area (WEA), located 20 miles offshore northern California, and based on its analysis has issued a finding of no significant impact (FONSI).
Environmental/Marine Use Compatibility
In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to Vineyard Wind 1, LLC (Vineyard Wind) to take, by Level A harassment and Level B harassment, marine mammals during construction of a commercial wind energy project offshore Massachusetts.
NMFS has received a request from Ocean Wind, LLC (Ocean Wind), a subsidiary of Orsted Wind Power North America, LLC's (Orsted), for authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to construction activities associated with the Ocean Wind 1 wind energy facility in the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) Lease Area Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)-A-0498 Commercial Lease of Submerged Lands for Renewable Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf off of New Jersey over the course of 5 years beginning in 2023. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of Ocean Wind's request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals. NMFS invites the public to provide information, suggestions, and comments on Ocean Wind's application and request.
U.S. senators from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts are urging the Biden administration to use caution in its approach to offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine. The senators expressed support for two studies in the Gulf of Maine that BOEM is scheduled to launch this year: one establishing an “ecological baseline” for the Gulf of Maine and another to determine data gaps for research into natural resources in the Gulf of Maine.
The purpose of this public notice is to: (1) Describe the proposal submitted to BOEM by the Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) to acquire an OCS lease for wind energy research activities; (2) solicit indications of interest in a renewable energy lease in the area identified by DMME for substantially similar wind energy activities; and (3) solicit public input regarding the proposal, its potential environmental consequences, and the use of the area in which the proposed project would be located.
On March 30, 2018, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced its Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) submitted by Vineyard Wind LLC (Vineyard Wind) that would allow it to construct and operate an 800 megawatt (MW) wind energy facility offshore Massachusetts.