Comment Period on Proposed Offshore Wind Energy Project to Open June 24

One of the federal agencies that will decide the fate of a proposed wind energy project off the coast of Ocean City and southern New Jersey has released a 1,400-page study of the potential environmental impact of the offshore wind farm.

A 45-day public comment period will begin on Friday, June 24 and extend through Monday, August 8, 2022. 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will review and revise the "Draft Environmental Impact Statement" and consider public feedback as they work to make final recommendations and a decision by April 2023. 

 

VIEW THE DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (DEIS)

The DEIS can be viewed here: https://www.boem.gov/sites/default/files/documents/renewable-energy/state-activities/OceanWind1-DEIS.pdf.

The document considers six senarios:

  • The project is rejected and never built ("No Action Alternative")
  • The project is built as proposed ("Alternative A Proposed Action")
  • Some wind turbine locations would be eliminated or smaller turbines constructed to reduce visual impacts ("Alternative B")
  • Turbine layouts would be modified to create a buffer between different wind projects ("Alternative C")
  • Modifications would be made to minimize impacts on sand ridge and trough features (marine habitats) ("Alternative D")
  • Modifications would be made to minimize impacts on underwater vegetation ("Alternative E")

Elements from any alternative could be included in the final recommendation. 

The statement considers impacts on: air quality, bats, birds, the ocean bottom, coastal habitats, commercial and recreational fisheries, cultural resources, demographics, employment and economics, environmental justice, fish habitats, land use, marine mammals, navigation and vessel traffic, recreation and tourism, sea turtles, scenic and visual resources, water quality, wetlands and other uses.

 

COMMENT ON THE DEIS

 A 45-day public comment period will extend from June 24 to August 8, 2022. During the public comment period, BOEM will be hosting three virtual public hearings where the public can learn more about the project, ask questions, and provide oral testimony. Information and meeting registration will be available on June 24, 2022.

The virtual public hearings will be held on: 

  • Thursday, July 14, 2022 at 1 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 26, 2022 at 5 p.m. 

For further information on how to register and participate in these virtual public hearings or to provide written comments, visit: https://www.boem.gov/sites/default/files/documents/renewable-energy/state-activities/Ocean-Wind-1-DEIS-NOA.pdf.

 

 

All resources related to BOEM's review of the project are available here: https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/ocean-wind-1.

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