As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is conducting a regional environmental review of six lease areas offshore New York and New Jersey, in an area known as the New York Bight.
Leases for these six areas were awarded through BOEM’s February 2022 auction that brought in over $4.3 billion, a record amount for any U.S. offshore renewable or conventional energy lease sale.
This is the first time BOEM has conducted a regional analysis containing multiple lease areas for offshore renewable energy. Additional environmental analyses specific to each proposed wind energy project will build off this programmatic review once BOEM receives individual construction and operations plans (COPs) from the leaseholders.
“The Biden-Harris administration is committed to unlocking the economic potential of offshore wind as a part of combating the climate crisis before us,” says Amanda Lefton, BOEM’s director. “This new regional approach is an evolution of our process to help ensure timely decisions that advance offshore wind while protecting the ocean environment and marine life. In addition, this approach ensures both a comprehensive view of the New York Bight area and improved process efficiencies for future project reviews.”
BOEM is publishing a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) in the Federal Register on July 15, 2022, which will initiate a 30-day public comment “scoping” period. Comments gathered during this time will help BOEM identify what it should consider as part of the PEIS. The PEIS will analyze potential impacts from wind energy development activities in the New York Bight region, as well as measures that can be taken to avoid, minimize, mitigate and monitor such potential impacts. During the public comment period, BOEM will hold three virtual public meetings on July 28, and August 2 and 4.