BOEM Details Ocean Wind’s Environmental Impact, Moves Review Process Forward

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The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed Ocean Wind 1 offshore wind energy project in New Jersey.

The DEIS marks a crucial step in the project’s federal review, the culmination of extensive technical evaluations and multi-agency coordination over the last year. The state is reviewing the DEIS and working with BOEM and the developer as the project moves to the next step at the federal level.

Ocean Wind 1, which will be the first wind farm off the coast of New Jersey, is Ørsted’s 1,100 MW offshore wind farm, estimated to generate $1.17 billion in economic benefits for the state and create thousands of jobs over the life of the project.

“With today’s release of the DEIS, New Jersey is one step closer to bringing its vision for a more sustainable future to fruition,” states Gov. Phil Murphy. “The multi-faceted impact of Ocean Wind 1 cannot be overstated; in addition to spurring economic growth and generating new jobs, the project will help us accomplish significant GHG reductions, upon which the future of our state depends. Alongside our private and federal partners, we are determined to ensure that the project achieves its optimal potential while mitigating its impacts on our beautiful state’s natural ecosystems.”

BOEM will publish the Notice of Availability on June 24, which will initiate a 45-day public comment period closing on August 8. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will thoroughly review the DEIS, which analyzes the project’s potential impacts to natural, historic, and cultural resources and associated mitigation measures, and will provide feedback to BOEM as a cooperating agency. 

“The responsible development of offshore wind is a critical component of New Jersey’s future energy portfolio to lessen the impacts of climate change,” comments DEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette. “The release of Ocean Wind 1’s DEIS marks a significant milestone in the evaluation of the first offshore wind project off the coast of New Jersey. Over the coming weeks, DEP will thoroughly evaluate and provide comment on the DEIS to ensure the project has taken all steps necessary to avoid potential adverse impacts to New Jersey’s natural, historic and cultural resources. I thank BOEM and NOAA for their continued partnership in the responsible development of offshore wind and look forward to engaging with stakeholders on our review.”

BOEM’s environmental review process will conclude with the Final EIS, which is anticipated in March 2023, and the Record of Decision in April 2023. 

“BOEM’s publication of the DEIS comes at a critical moment for New Jerseyans, who are already experiencing the devastating effects of the climate crisis,” says Jane Cohen, director of the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy. “Frequent storms, severe flooding and heat waves are evidence that the impacts of climate change will not diminish without proactive intervention. This announcement encourages us to continue our journey toward a clean energy economy founded upon ample opportunity and jobs for all New Jerseyans.”

Read Ocean Wind 1’s DEIS here.

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