On June 22, 2016, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper announced a major step in BOEM’s Hawai'i offshore wind planning process.
In addition to issuing a Call for Information and Nominations (Call) to gauge interest in acquiring commercial wind leases in areas offshore O'ahu and solicit comments on potential multiple use and environmental considerations relating to wind development in those areas, BOEM issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA). Through the Notice of Intent (NOI), BOEM is seeking public comment for determining issues and alternatives to be analyzed in the EA, which will consider potential environmental impacts associated with issuing future commercial wind leases and approving site assessment activities on the lease areas.
Please note that the issuance of these notices is a very early step in BOEM’s offshore wind process, and BOEM has not yet determined whether it would be appropriate to issue commercial wind leases in all or part of the areas included in the Call. Stakeholder comments and input will be critical to informing BOEM’s decision-making process moving forward.
BOEM has scheduled the following public scoping meetings to provide opportunities for the public to comment on the EA.
The NOI was published in the Federal Register on June 24, 2016, and BOEM will accept public comments for 45 days (ending on August 8, 2016) via the following:
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. In the field entitled, ‘‘Enter Keyword or ID,’’ enter BOEM–2016–0049, and then click ‘‘search.’’ Follow the instructions to submit public comments and view supporting and related materials available for this notice; or
- U.S. mail: Mail in an envelope labeled ‘‘Comments on Hawai'i EA’’ and addressed to Regional Director, BOEM Pacific OCS Region, 760 Paseo Camarillo, Suite 102, Camarillo, California 93010.
- Public Scoping Meetings: Per the schedule above, comments will be accepted during these meetings on O'ahu.
For more information about offshore wind planning efforts for Hawai'i, go to http://www.boem.gov/Hawai'i.