In August 2021, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced it would be updating its environmental review of proposed wind leasing options offshore the Carolinas. Today, BOEM is posting a draft of its supplemental environmental assessment (SEA) on its website for public review and comment.
The draft SEA considers new information relevant to environmental considerations that were not available when BOEM originally published the Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Offshore North Carolina - Revised Environmental Assessment in 2015 .
Specifically, BOEM is proposing a lease sale for the Wilmington East Wind Energy Area (WEA), located in the Carolina Long Bay Area offshore North and South Carolina. The area proposed for the lease sale consists of approximately 127,865 acres and includes the majority of the Wilmington East WEA, which has the potential to unlock over 1.5 GW of offshore wind energy and power more than 500,000 homes.
BOEM’s draft SEA assesses the potential impacts from the issuance of commercial leases within the Wilmington East WEA. Potential impacts include those that could occur from site characterization activities (i.e., shallow hazards, geological, geotechnical, archeological, and biological surveys of the lease area and potential cable routes) and site assessment activities (i.e., installation and operation of meteorological buoys) associated with issuing wind energy leases in the WEA.
How to Provide Comment
BOEM is hosting two virtual public meetings to provide an overview of the draft SEA and to obtain public input. The meetings will be held on Dec. 14 at 1:00 PM and Dec. 15 at 5:00 PM. Times are Eastern.
The release of the draft SEA will also initiate a 30-day public comment period on the assessment itself, which will end at 11:59 PM (Eastern) on January 7, 2022.
The draft SEA and related information about the Wilmington East WEA and proposed leasing options, as well as directions on how to comment, can be found on BOEM’s website at https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/carolina-long-bay
-- BOEM --
The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is responsible for America’s offshore energy and mineral resources. The bureau promotes energy independence, environmental protection and economic development through responsible, science-based management of energy and mineral resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.