BOEM's mission is to facilitate the responsible development of renewable energy resources on the Outer Continental Shelf through conscientious planning, stakeholder engagement, comprehensive environmental analysis, and sound technical review. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorized the development of regulations for the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Renewable Energy Program. This regulatory framework establishes a process for environmental review of proposed offshore wind projects. Each project is subject to a review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as well as consultations with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). Consultation is also conducted under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
In support of the NEPA process, BOEM is developing white papers to provide detailed discussions of topics raised. These papers will be summarized and incorporated by in BOEM's offshore renewable energy NEPA documents.
Below you will find links to completed Environmental Assessments (EAs) in support of leasing and Environmental Impact Statement (EISs) in support of plan approval, white papers on technical and environmental topics, and modeling tools.
Environmental Assessments in Support of Leasing
- Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Offshore Massachusetts Revised Environmental Assessment (June 4, 2014)
- Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Offshore New York Revised Environmental Assessment (October 31, 2016)
- Commercial and Research Wind Lease and Grant Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf of the New York Bight (December 16, 2021)
Environmental Impact Statements in Support of Project Approvals
- Cape Wind Cape Wind Energy Project NEPA documentation (EIS published January 21, 2009)
- Vineyard Wind 1 Offshore Wind Energy Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (March 12, 2021)
- South Fork Wind
BOEM has developed white papers that provide more detailed information about topics presented in NEPA documents. The white papers are summarized in the NEPA documents and incorporated by reference.
White papers that discuss methodology for assessing cumulative impacts
Impact Producing Factors
White papers that discuss activities that produce impacts
Benefits - Evaluating Benefits of Offshore Wind Energy Projects in NEPA (2017)
Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) - Evaluation of Potential EMF Effects on Fish Species of Commercial or Recreational Fishing Importance in Southern New England (2019)
Foundations - Comparison of Environmental Effects from Different Offshore Wind Turbine Foundations (2021)
High Voltage Direct Current Cooling Systems - Supporting National Environmental Policy Act Documentation for Offshore Wind Energy Development Related to High Voltage Direct Current Cooling Systems (2022)
White papers that discuss resources analyzed in NEPA documents
Benthic Habitats, Marine Mammals - Improving Efficiencies of National Environmental Policy Act Documentation for Offshore Wind Facilities - Case Studies Report (2017)
- Offshore Wind Energy Facilities Emission Estimating Tool Version 2.0 (2017)
- A Parametric Analysis and Sensitivity Study of the Acoustic Propagation for Renewable Energy (2020)
- Optimization of Towed Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) Array Design and Performance Study (Passive Acoustic Monitoring Study) (2021)
- Risk Assessment to Model Encounter Rates between Large Whales and Vessel Traffic from Offshore Wind Energy on the Atlantic OCS (2021)