The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is providing a few updates on the offshore wind leasing process in the New York Bight, located offshore New York and New Jersey. Specifically, this notice provides further information related to the upcoming availability of a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) that assesses the potential impacts of the issuance of commercial and research leases within the nearly 800,000-acre wind energy areas (WEAs) of the New York Bight, and granting of rights-of-way and rights-of-use and easement in the region.
These WEAs include the lease areas proposed in the Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) for the New York Bight, published on June 11, 2021. The PSN provides detailed information on potential future offshore wind leasing in the area. If approved, offshore wind development in the areas included in the PSN could encompass up to eight lease areas totaling over 627,000 acres, with the potential to generate over 7 gigawatts of clean wind energy.
BOEM initially published a press release regarding its intent to prepare an EA for the New York Bight on March 29, 2021. The EA considers potential environmental consequences of site characterization activities (i.e., biological, archeological, geological, and geophysical surveys and core samples) and site assessment activities (i.e., installation of meteorological buoys). The EA also considers project easements associated with each potential lease issued and grants for subsea cable corridors in the New York Bight. As part of the EA scoping process, BOEM sought comments on the issues and alternatives to be considered in the EA and received approximately 3,000 comments, which can be found at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. BOEM-2021-0021.
BOEM will publish the draft EA on August 10, 2021. In conjunction with its release, BOEM invites stakeholders to two public virtual meetings, to be held at the following dates and times:
- August 24, 2021 at 1:00 PM Eastern
- August 25, 2021 at 5:00 PM Eastern
The release of the draft EA will also initiate a 30-day public comment period on the assessment itself.
The draft EA, detailed information about the proposed leasing in the New York Bight, and how to comment, can be found on BOEM’s website at https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/new-york-bight.