Dept. of Interior finalizes environmental review, lease for offshore wind development

The Department of Interior announced that it has cleared an environmental review, allowing Interior to move forward with the process for wind energy lease sales in offshore Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM’s) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessment found that there would be no significant environmental and socioeconomic impacts from issuing wind energy leases in designated Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas off the mid-Atlantic Coast. BOEM also published Calls for Information and Nominations for and to solicit lease nominations from industry and request public comments regarding site conditions, resources and multiple uses of the Wind Energy Areas.

Additionally, the bureau announced the finalization of a lease form that will help streamline the issuance of renewable energy leases on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Financial and other terms, as well as any site-specific mitigation measures, will be added to each individual lease before it is executed. The lease form is now available and will be effective 15 days following publication in the Federal Register at: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/public-inspection/index.html.

BOEM will use this environmental assessment to inform future leasing decisions in the mid-Atlantic Wind Energy Areas and to review site assessment plans. If a lessee proposes a wind energy generation project on its lease, BOEM would prepare a separate site- and project-specific analysis under NEPA of its construction and operations plan, and provide additional opportunities for public involvement.

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