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>

<< Feb 2017 >>
MTWTFSS
30 31 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 1 2 3 4 5

Corrosion Protection for Offshore Wind

The 3rd International Conference Corrosion Protection for Offshore Wind will focus on technical challenges for the installation, reliability…

read more >

Substructures for UK Offshore Wind

The event will focus on identifying the future situation of the UK to optimise design, improve reliability, and cost-efficiency in existing…

read more >

BIS Group – Offshore Power Cable Engineering and Reliability Forum

The event will reiterate the success of the previous year and will be focused on the latest trends in cable technology (survey, installation…

read more >

Offshore wind energy – an opportunity for the Polish economy

Foundation for Sustainable Energy (FNEZ) together with industry partners is organizing for the third time the international conference…

read more >

Jobs>

QHSE Officer, Liverpool based

As QHSE Officer you will be providing support and cover for the QHSE Manager in managing the office and vessels with regard to compliance ...

apply

Offshore wind jobs at Shell Netherlands BV

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

apply

Business Manager Renewables

We are looking for an experienced Business Manager Renewables to lead the dedicated Operations team in our Bristol office...

apply

Vessels>