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Offshore wind studies won’t cause any harm to the environment
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Offshore wind studies won’t cause any harm to the environment

ATLANTIC CITY (N.J.) The federal government has determined the process of evaluating New York and New Jersey ocean sites for offshore wind energy projects will not cause significant environmental damage.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management reported Thursday that it had completed an environment review of the activities necessary to study offshore wind site.

The review only covers the investigative phase of wind projects. This includes biological, geological, and geophysical surveys, core samples taken from the ocean floor, and the placement of meteorological buoys.

This is not meant to be an environmental approval for individual wind project. Each development will need to be approved separately.

However, it allows developers to continue planning ambitious offshore wind project in the area, called 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 nearly 1.6 million homes. New Jersey has set a goal to generate 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050 and plans to solicit additional wind energy projects every 2 years until at least 2028.

The federal government has set the goal to approve enough offshore wind projects to generate enough electricity to power 10,000,000 homes by 2030.

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.


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