On July 18,2017, the House Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment introduced by Congressman Andy Harris (MD-01) to the Interior Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2018. This amendment blocks the use of federal funds to conduct reviews of site assessment or construction and operation plans for wind turbines less than 24 nautical miles from the State of Maryland shoreline – the distance at which the turbines would not be visible from the shoreline and affecting the viewscape. The bill can be found here. Dowload the amendment below.
BOEM conducted detailed surveys to assess the geoarchaeological potential of pre-historic habitation at select sites and to provide baseline information concerning the potential to identify prehistoric and relict landforms, historic shipwrecks and objects, and hazardous MEC/UXO lying in the SC-OCS.
This investigation is intended to provide a baseline of cultural information that will inform preliminary planning decisions regarding renewable energy development in the Atlantic Region and assist in compliance with NHPA and NEPA with respect to the placement of off-shore energy facilities. It identifies known cultural resources/historic properties that could be visually affected, as well as publicly accessible cultural resources/historic properties that could be socio-economically impacted due to diminished levels of visitation.
BOEM prepared this Environmental Assessment (EA) to consider the reasonably foreseeable environmental consequences of lease issuance and, in particular, whether issuing a lease will result in significant environmental impacts. The activities associated with the EA include 1) site characterization surveys; and, 2) site assessment activities.
By synthesizing information from regional stakeholders about the locations of natural resources and their existing uses within published wind energy Call Areas, researchers from the University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences were able to create maps that integrate new stakeholder information with existing agency data, enabling BOEM to reduce potential user conflicts within leases for offshore wind development. Project objectives were to obtain and convey spatially explicit information indicating where wind energy development can avoid or minimize conflicts with fish, fish habitat, fishing, diving, and ecotourism in the three Call Areas published in December 2012: Wilmington-West, Wilmington-East, and Kitty Hawk on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore of North Carolina.
In 2012, BOEM identified three Wind Energy Call Areas off of North Carolina, the Kitty Hawk Call Area is located near the North Carolina-Virginia border whereas both the Wilmington-West and Wilmington-East Call Areas are located near the North Carolina-South Carolina border, near Cape Fear and Frying Pan Shoals. In August 2014, BOEM announced three, fully vetted, WEAs offshore of North Carolina, in which each of the three Call Areas were reduced in size. This research project examined the seafloor and benthic communities in the Wilmington-East Call Area with some assessments focused on the smaller Wilmington-East WEA.
BOEM prepared this Enviromental Assessment (EA) to consider the reasonably foreseeable enviromental consequences of lease issuance and, in particular, whether issuing a lease will result in significant enviromental impacts. The activities associated with the EA include 1) site characterization surveys; and, 2) site assessment activities.