Policy News

BOEM Seeks Public Comment on Draft Environmental Analysis for Proposed Wind Energy Project Offshore New York

The Bureau of Ocean Energy and Management (BOEM) today announced the availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed Empire Wind energy project offshore New York.

This proposed 2,076-megawatt (MW) project, if approved, could provide power for at least 700,000 homes.

“BOEM continues to drive significant progress to meet the Biden-Harris administration’s ambitious climate goals, and our commitment to advance offshore wind is keeping pace with our commitment to do this right,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “As we expeditiously review offshore wind projects, BOEM remains committed to fully analyze impacts with an emphasis on avoidance, minimization, and if needed, mitigation, and will continue to engage with Tribal nations, stakeholders, and ocean users.”

The Empire Wind DEIS can be found on BOEM’s website, and the Notice of Availability for the DEIS will publish in the Federal Register on Nov. 18, which will open a 60-day public comment period that ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Jan. 17, 2023. The input received via this process will inform preparation of the Final EIS.

Empire Offshore Wind, LLC submitted a Construction and Operation Plan (COP) for its proposal to develop two wind energy facilities and their associated export cables offshore New York, known as Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2.

The proposal includes up to 147 offshore wind turbine generators, two offshore substations, two offshore electrical cable routes, up to three export cable landfall sites, up to three onshore electrical cable routes, and two onshore substations, providing connection to the existing electrical grid in Brooklyn and Long Beach, New York. The DEIS analyzes the potential environmental impacts of the project as described in the COP and several alternatives to the proposed action.

BOEM will use the findings of the EIS to inform its decision on whether to approve Empire Wind’s COP, and if so, which mitigation measures to require.

Over the past year, BOEM has moved forward at the pace and scale required to help achieve the Biden-Harris administration’s goal to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030. The bureau is also well on its way to achieving the Department of the Interior’s goal to review at least 16 project plans for commercial, offshore wind energy facilities by 2025, which represents more than 27 GW of clean energy for the nation.

In addition to approving the nation’s first two commercial-scale, offshore wind projects on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, BOEM has initiated the environmental review process for 10 additional projects.

To date, BOEM has held 10 competitive lease sales and issued 27 active commercial wind leases in the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to North Carolina.

Public Meetings and Comments

During the comment period, BOEM will hold three virtual public meetings, where the public can learn more about the review process, the EIS schedule, potential impacts from the proposed project, and proposals to reduce potential impacts. There will also be an opportunity for participants to provide comments on the DEIS. The public meetings will be held on the following dates and times. All times are Eastern:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022; 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022; 5:00 PM
  • Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022; 1:00 PM

A virtual meeting room will be on BOEM’s website starting on Nov. 18, 2022. It will be available throughout the 60-day comment period and will include information about the DEIS, as well as how to register for the virtual public meetings and provide comments.

More information on the proposed Empire Wind project can be found on BOEM’s website: https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/empire-wind

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