Proposed Wind Energy Development in the NY Bight
The New York Bight is prime territory for offshore wind energy development, and its waters traveled by endangered North Atlantic right whales. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will conduct a regional environmental review of six lease areas offshore New York and New Jersey in the New York Bight.
Leases for these six areas were awarded through BOEM’s February 2022 auction that brought in over $4.3 billion, a record amount for any U.S. offshore renewable or conventional energy lease sale.
This is the first time BOEM has conducted a regional analysis containing multiple lease areas for offshore renewable energy. Additional environmental analyses specific to each proposed wind energy project will build off this programmatic review once BOEM receives individual Construction and Operations Plans (COPs) from the leaseholders, BOEM said.
“This new regional approach is an evolution of our process to help ensure timely decisions that advance offshore wind while protecting the ocean environment and marine life,” BOEM Director Amanda Lefton, said in a statement. “In addition, this approach ensures both a comprehensive view of the New York Bight area and improved process efficiencies for future project reviews.”
BOEM will publish a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) in the Federal Register on July 15, 2022, which will initiate a 30-day public comment “scoping” period. Comments gathered during this time will help BOEM identify what it should consider as part of the PEIS. The PEIS will analyze potential impacts from wind energy development activities in the New York Bight region, as well as measures that can be taken to avoid, minimize, mitigate, and monitor such potential impacts.