By WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press
ATLANTIC CIITY, N.J. (AP). The federal government determined that the process for evaluating ocean sites in New York City and New Jersey for offshore Wind Energy projects will not cause any significant harm to the environment.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Thursday that it has completed an environment review of the activities necessary to study offshore wind site.
The review only covers the investigative stages of wind projects. These include biological, geological, and geophysical survey and taking core samples from the ocean floor.
It is not intended as a final approval for individual wind turbine projects. This will need to done separately for each development.
It allows developers to plan ambitious offshore wind projects in this area, known as the New York Bight.
Amanda Lefton, director of BOEM, stated that BOEM’s primary goal is to ensure that any development in New York Bight is done in a responsible manner and that there are no or minimal impacts on the ocean.
New Jersey is aggressively attempting to be the East Coast’s offshore-wind center. It has already approved three offshore wind projects, and many more are in the planning phase.
The three projects will produce enough electricity to power over 1.5 million homes. New Jersey has set the goal of generating 100% clean energy by 2050. It plans to solicit additional wind power projects every two years until 2028.
The federal government set a goal to approve enough offshore wind farms nationwide by 2030 to produce enough electricity to power 10 million homes.
The environmental study included several areas such as benthic animals (which are creatures that live on or near the ocean floor); commercial and recreational fishing; finfish and invertebrates; essential fish habitat; marine mammals; sea turtles; and finfish, invertebrates. The agency found that each case would not be a significant problem when it came to assessing the suitability of the sites for offshore wind development.
Follow Wayne Parry on twitter at @WayneParryAC
Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not been published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.