The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is to publish a draft environmental analysis of the proposed South Fork offshore windfarm on the east coast of the US and is requesting public comment
The draft environmental analysis or draft environmental impact statement (EIS) analyses the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action described in the South Fork Wind construction and operations plan and reasonable alternatives to the proposed action. South Fork is a 50/50 partnership between Ørsted and Eversource.
BOEM acting director Walter Cruickshank said, “BOEM remains committed to a permitting process that reduces potential conflicts with other important uses of the ocean, such as fishing, while establishing a strong foundation for wind projects.
“The feedback provided by our many stakeholders will help inform the final environmental impact statement and provide invaluable insight to decision makers.”
South Fork Wind is proposing to install up to 15 wind turbines with a capacity of up to 12 MW. They will be installed approximately 31 km southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island, and 56 km east of Montauk Point, New York.
The notice of availability (NOA) for the draft EIS will be published in the Federal Register on 8 January 2021.
NOA publication opens a 45-day public comment period. During this time, BOEM will conduct three virtual public meetings and accept comments on the draft EIS. The input received will inform preparation of the final EIS. Comments on the draft EIS should be submitted or postmarked no later than 22 February 2021.
Once the EIS is finalised, BOEM will use the findings to inform its decision on whether to approve South Fork Wind’s proposed project.