Fishermen Argue Against New York Offshore Wind Lease

Source: Statoil

U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., is expected to deliver a ruling on a motion for a preliminary injunction against the lease sale of 127 square miles of ocean off the coast of Long Island, New York, for wind energy development.

On Wednesday, 8 February, lawyers representing fishing communities, associations, and businesses, led by scallop industry trade group the Fisheries Survival Fund, argued in the court against the wind farm lease, which the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) awarded to Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil for USD 42.5 million at auction in December, arguing that the site of the project is in the middle of important fishing grounds, particularly for the scallop and squid fisheries.

They claim that allowing the lease sale to go through would cause irreparable harm to commercial fishermen and is unlawful.

The plaintiffs argued that the lease sale would have an immediate impact on fishing interests by giving the government and Statoil free rein to conduct a number of harmful actions, including installing a meteorological tower that could damage scallop beds, and performing sonic testing that studies suggest hurts fish populations.

The plaintiffs also said that, should the lease proceed, additional investments make it nearly certain that a wind farm will be constructed, permanently restricting fishermen who make their livelihoods in the area.

Lawyers representing BOEM and Statoil countered that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate immediate and irreparable harm to their livelihoods, saying that any impact on fishermen would not happen for years, and that there would be time to address fishing concerns in future environmental assessments.

Federal law requires a balanced process that considers all stakeholders when developing wind energy projects, but the plaintiffs said that fishing concerns have not been properly addressed in the siting of the New York wind energy area.

BOEM estimates the value of fishing grounds in the proposed wind energy area at USD 90 million, a figure that the plaintiffs argued is too low because the government used less precise vessel trip reports instead of more accurate satellite-based vessel monitoring systems. The defendants argued that the lease siting process was transparent, including meetings with fishermen and multiple requests for information.

The plaintiffs responded that their more accurate information was ignored, the location of the wind farm was chosen in private, and fishermen never had a chance to advocate for alternative sites.

The case was heard by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan.

Share this article

Follow Offshore Wind

Events>

<< Jul 2017 >>
MTWTFSS
26 27 28 29 30 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 1 2 3 4 5 6

CWP2017 Conference

CWP Conference includes the policy and market forums, the entrepreneur forums and the technology forums…

read more >

HUSUM Wind 2017

The new concept for HUSUM Wind 2015, with the focus specifically on the important German core market, has proven to be a complete success…

read more >

Digital Data Integration & Management

From SCADA to Asset Optimization Increasing turbine efficiency through sophisticated data management and control The conference Digital Data Integration and Management will take place in Bremen from 26 – 28 September, 2017. The topics to be covered include, but are not limited to, LiDAR and SCADA data, control systems, conditional monitoring and digital infrastructure. In […]

read more >

FwP Atlantic Forum 2017

The event is being held during the tenth edition of Sea Tech Week, an international week devoted to marine science and technology, organised…

read more >

Jobs>

Commercial Manager - Liverpool based with some travel

As the Commercial Manager you can expect a variety of responsibilities. The principle focus will be the commercial management of the Bibby WaveMaster1 vessel...

apply

Offshore wind jobs at Shell Netherlands BV

Commercial Lead New Energies, Offshore Wind Operations Lead and Wind Turbine Engineer.

apply

Network Support Engineer

As Network Support Engineer you will be responsible for the installation / configuration, operation and maintenance of the infrastructural network ...

apply

Vessels>