The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced the availability of its draft environmental review of wind energy areas off the shores of the U.S. Central Atlantic region.
BOEM’s Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) considers potential environmental consequences of site characterization and assessment activities associated with issuing leases in the Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) offshore Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. The Draft EA also considers project easements and grants associated with each potential lease, including subsea cable corridors.
The public comment period for the draft EA runs through Feb. 12.
“BOEM will continue to work closely with our government partners, key stakeholders and the public as we consider proposed offshore wind activities in the Central Atlantic,” says BOEM director Elizabeth Klein. “Our overarching goal is to ensure any development is done in a manner that avoids or reduces potential impacts to other ocean uses and the marine environment.”
On Dec. 11, the Department of the Interior announced a proposed offshore wind lease sale in the Central Atlantic WEAs. The proposal includes two areas for auction: WEA A-2 offshore Delaware and Maryland and WEA C-1 offshore Virginia.
BOEM partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science to develop a comprehensive, ecosystem-based ocean planning model that assisted in the selection of the final WEAs.