The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act requires BOEM to award renewable energy leases competitively, unless BOEM determines there is no competitive interest. So, on Dec. 13, 2012, BOEM published a Call for Information and Nominations (or “Call”) in the Federal
Register (under Docket ID: BOEM-2012-0088) for a 45-day public comments period to gauge the offshore wind industry's interest in acquiring commercial wind leases in three areas offshore North Carolina and to request comments regarding site conditions, resources and other uses within the Call areas. On Feb. 5, 2013, BOEM reopened the comment period for the Call to allow for additional public input. The comment period for the North Carolina Call for Information and Nominations (DOCKET ID: BOEM-2012-0088) closed on March 7, 2013. Materials related to the Call are below.
In addition to the Call, BOEM published in the Federal Register a “Notice of Intent (NOI) to Prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA)” on Dec. 13, 2012 (under Docket ID: BOEM-2012-0090). BOEM extended the public comment period until Mar. 7, 2013. The EA will consider potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts associated with issuing commercial wind leases and approving site assessment activities on the lease areas.
Based on responses to the Call, BOEM has determined there is competitive interest and will proceed with a competitive leasing process. BOEM will use responses to the Call, along with the results of the visualization study, input from public meetings, and our
maritime outreach efforts, to help determine whether portions of the Call Areas
should not be considered for leasing at this time.
In addition, BOEM will
prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) to analyze the impacts of issuing
renewable energy leases, including reasonably foreseeable consequences
associated with site assessment activities, such as installation of
meteorological towers and buoys, and site characterization activities, such as
geophysical, geotechnical, archeological, and biological surveys, in the Call
Areas offshore North Carolina. During the development of the EA, BOEM will
coordinate with its Federal, state, and tribal partners on the consultations
required under the following statutes: Endangered Species Act, Magnuson Fishery
Conservation and Management Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act.
BOEM will also seek public input regarding the identification of the
alternatives to be considered in the EA, as well as the environmental and/or
socioeconomic issues to be analyzed.
BOEM coordinates Outer Continental Shelf renewable energy activities with its federal, state, local, and tribal government partners through its North Carolina Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force. BOEM also coordinates public information meetings to help keep interested stakeholders updated on major renewable energy milestones. To obtain information discussed during these meetings click on the links below.
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