BOEM Mulls Wind Area Lease Sale Offshore the Carolinas
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is considering a lease sale for the Wilmington East wind energy area located in the Long Bay, offshore North and South Carolina.
BOEM is now preparing a supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA) to consider additional wind leasing options offshore North Carolina and South Carolina and is seeking public comments.
”Environmental reviews are essential to a strong resource management program,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton.
”At BOEM, scientific based decision-making remains a top priority and will inform the path forward offshore the Carolinas. We welcome and appreciate your input into this process.”
The supplemental EA will consider new information relevant to environmental considerations that were not available when BOEM published the original EA in 2015.
As part of this public process, BOEM is seeking input on additional information, issues and alternatives to be considered in the supplemental EA.
The comment period will be open for 30 days, beginning on 13 August and ending on 12 September.
In 2015, BOEM’s EA considered the lease sale of the Kitty Hawk area, as well as the Wilmington East and West areas. At that time, BOEM found that no reasonably foreseeable significant impacts were expected to occur as a result of the proposed lease sales or any of the alternatives contemplated in the EA.
In 2017, BOEM held a competitive lease sale for the Kitty Hawk.
The supplemental environmental review for the Wilmington East area evaluates new circumstances and information relevant to reasonably foreseeable environmental impacts that would occur from site characterization activities and site assessment activities associated with issuing wind energy leases in the Wilmington East.
Some of this new information includes a recent marine cultural resources survey, changes in the status of some Endangered Species Act-listed species, the listing of new species, and the designation of the North Atlantic Right Whale Critical Habitat, BOEM said.