The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is seeking public comments as it considers the potential effects of offshore wind energy leasing activities on historic properties in the Mid-Atlantic region.
In accordance with the requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, BOEM is consulting with interested parties and members of the public who share concerns about historic properties that might be affected by proposed commercial leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
BOEM is conducting the review as part of its Smart from the Start initiative, which is designed to facilitate the efficient and environmentally responsible development of renewable energy resources on the OCS. The bureau will evaluate the potential impacts of issuing renewable energy leases and conducting site-assessment activities, such as the installation and operation of meteorological towers and buoys.
Any leases that may be issued will not authorize construction or operations of commercial wind energy projects. Specific proposed projects will undergo appropriate environmental review and analysis, with additional opportunities for public comment, BOEM explains.
"We are working to make offshore wind energy projects in the Mid-Atlantic a reality. In doing so, we also are taking care to ensure that our nation's historical and cultural resources are protected," says BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau. "It is important to collect information and hear concerns early in the planning process, and so we encourage stakeholders to provide us with information necessary to ensure that offshore wind development is done the right way, in the right places."
Comments on the proposed undertaking can be submitted to BOEM by Nov. 3.