Status: BOEM’s Environmental Review of the Vineyard Wind Project
Comments received from stakeholders and cooperating agencies requested a more robust cumulative analysis. Considering such comments, and taking into account recent state offshore wind procurement announcements, BOEM is expanding its cumulative analysis of projects within its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Because BOEM has determined that a greater build out of offshore wind capacity is more reasonably foreseeable than was analyzed in the initial draft EIS, BOEM has decided to supplement the Draft EIS and solicit comments on its revised cumulative impacts analysis.
There will be an opportunity to comment on the Supplemental EIS. BOEM will notify all stakeholders – including federal, state, and local agencies, elected officials, fishing communities, and the public when the Supplemental EIS is available for public comment. BOEM will also hold public meetings during the comment period. BOEM anticipates completing the Supplemental EIS late this year or early next year.
Executive Order 13807 states that each agency is to make timely decisions with the goal of completing all Federal environmental reviews and authorization decisions for major infrastructure projects within 2 years. BOEM will coordinate with OMB on potential permitting delays that may result from additional environmental review.
Construction and Operations Plan (Status: Under Review)
Vineyard Wind submitted its COP in December 2017. BOEM will review the COP and approve, disapprove, or approve with modifications the proposed activities. This submission will initiate another round of environmental review and public comment under the National Environmental Policy Act.
At its nearest point, the project area is approximately 14 miles from the southeast corner of Martha’s Vineyard and a similar distance from the southwest side of Nantucket. Water depths where the turbines would be located range from approximately 37 to 49 meters (approximately 121 to 161 feet).
- Construction and Operations Plan for Lease OCS-A 0501
Visual Simulations (Status: Completed)
As part of the COP submission, Vineyard Wind prepared visual simulations of what their project would look like from various locations. These simulations were prepared as part of the larger Visual Impact Assessment which is Appendix III-H.a of the COP. For easier access, please find the project area of potential effects (APE) as well as visual simulations from Nantucket below.
In addition, Vineyard Wind prepared a night time video simulation and (Summer, Fall) daytime video simulations to show what the proposed offshore wind facility would look like under various conditions.
Archaeological Resources Identification Surveys (Status: Completed)
As part of the COP submission, Vineyard Wind conducted a number of archaeological resources identification surveys onshore, in state waters, and on the Outer Continental Shelf. Vineyard Wind prepared multiple reports documenting this work and reporting the locations of these archaeological resources to BOEM, in partial fulfillment of BOEM's compliance with 36 CFR 800. Summaries of these reports are now available to the public.
Vineyard Wind requested a 1-year extension for submitting its SAP, which BOEM approved. Vineyard Wind initially filed the SAP in March 2017, followed by revisions in July, October, and November 2017. BOEM deemed the SAP complete and sufficient on November 21, 2017.
Environmental Review (Status: Draft Environmental Impact Statement completed, Final Environmental Impact Statement being developed)
On March 30, 2018, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced its Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) submitted by Vineyard Wind LLC (Vineyard Wind) that would allow it to construct and operate an 800 megawatt (MW) wind energy facility offshore Massachusetts.
The publication of the NOI opened a 30-day public comment period, which closed on April 30, 2018. Comments on the NOI can be found here. During the 30-day public comment period, BOEM held five public scoping meetings.
BOEM prepared a scoping report to review and catalogue the information and materials provided to BOEM during the scoping period for the proposed Vineyard Wind project. This report identifies substantive comments for consideration in the development of the EIS, and categorizes them based on the applicable resource areas or NEPA topics.
Vineyard Wind Permitting Timetable (Being Updated)
DEIS Public Hearing Materials (Status: Completed)
On December 7, 2018, BOEM published a Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) submitted by Vineyard Wind. As part of this process, BOEM held public hearings from February 11-15, 2019 in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The public comment period closed on February 22, 2019.
The input received via this process will be used to inform preparation of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).
Site Assessment Plan (Status: Approved)
On May 10, 2018, The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management approved the Site Assessment Plan (SAP) for Lease OCS-A 0501 (Vineyard Wind). The SAP approval allows for the installation of up to two Fugro SEAWATCH Wind LiDAR metocean buoys. For additional information, please find the approved SAP below:
For more information on wind energy development offshore Massachusetts, please click on the links below.