The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is requesting public comment on an environmental assessment (EA) for three wind energy areas (WEA) off the coast of North Carolina.
According to BOEM, the WEAs identified by BOEM offshore North Carolina total about 307,590 acres and include the Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area (about 122,405 acres), the Wilmington West Wind Energy Area (about 51,595 acres), and the Wilmington East Wind Energy Area (about 133,590 acres).
BOEM says it will hold three public meetings in North Carolina during February to provide an overview of the EA findings and offer additional opportunities for public comments.
To submit a comment, click here.
The EA considers potential environmental impacts and socioeconomic effects from issuing renewable energy leases and related site-characterization activities within the WEA. Site-characterization activities include geophysical, geotechnical, archaeological and biological surveys needed to develop specific project proposals on those leases.
The EA also considers environmental impacts associated with potential site-assessment activities, including installation and operation of meteorological towers and buoys, in support of leases that may be issued.
BOEM is requesting public comments on the adequacy of the environmental analysis and of the measures designed to reduce or eliminate potential environmental impacts. BOEM will consider such comments before determining whether to issue a finding of no significant impact or to conduct additional analyses under the National Environmental Policy Act.
To date, BOEM has awarded seven commercial wind energy leases off the Atlantic coast: two non-competitive leases (Cape Wind in Nantucket Sound off Massachusetts and an area off Delaware) and five competitive leases (two offshore Massachusetts-Rhode Island, two offshore Maryland and another offshore Virginia).