Clean Ocean Action

TOO MUCH!  TOO FAST!

OFFSHORE WIND ENERGY OFF NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY:

Expansion of 800,000+ Acres Proposed,
Yet First 400,000+ Acres Still Unused

SUPPORT A PAUSE … LET’S GET IT RIGHT!!!

For over 37 years, COA has been the leading coalition successfully campaigning to improve and protect the waters in the region known as the New York/New Jersey Bight. These shared waters have a long history.  COA’s campaigns have ended ocean dumping, resulting in the closing of eight disposal sites, blocked five offshore liquefied natural gas export/import facilities, and prevented commercial seafloor strip-mining for aggregate, offshore oil and gas drilling proposals and associated seismic activities, and other industrialization activities that threaten the marine ecosystem.  Thus, COA speaks from this extensive knowledge and commitment to the region. 

Despite the progress made in improving the ocean off the NY/NJ coast, the ocean remains threatened, especially due to climate change. Climate change does (and has for decades) represent an existential threat, and all efforts must be made to reduce the causes, particularly the reduction of carbon emissions.  To be clear from the outset, COA supports responsible and reasonable offshore wind energy development; this includes operation, management, and decommissioning, as well as the associated onshore infrastructure support.  However, this new, uncertain industry requires additional investigation of areas with a focus on comprehensive, inclusive assessments of all offshore wind life-cycle impacts.  

Further, the need for good governance and responsible development is now critical with the recent accelerated scope and magnitude of cumulative offshore wind activities under President Biden’s Executive Order 14008, combined with the exuberance from New York and New Jersey state governments.  This rush to build in the ocean, and now in WEAs, is inconsistent with responsible management.  BOEM and state agencies appear to continue to apply outdated, silo-based environmental assessments and strategies, which may be in violation of their NEPA mandate.  BOEM has required little to no comprehensive cumulative assessment, and there has been a lack of good governance in evaluating current activities. 

In sum, it is essential for offshore wind development to be done correctly and well.

In April 2021, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced two notices for public comment regarding offshore wind energy development off the NY/NJ coast - one for 800,000 acres of offshore wind area leases, and the second for the Ocean Wind project off the coast of Atlantic City, NJ. Clean Ocean Action provided comments on both opportunities to comment:

Click here for Clean Ocean Action's comments on the New York Bight Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Assessment for Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Offshore New York; MMAA104000; Docket No. BOEM-2021-0021-0002.

Click here for Clean Ocean Action's comments on a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the review of a construction and operations plan (COP) for Ocean Wind, LLC’s Proposed Wind Energy Facility Offshore New Jersey, Docket No. BOEM-2021-0024 

For more information about Clean Ocean Action's position on offshore wind energy, read below and also this action alert.

 

 


Q&A Document on Offshore Wind Development Off NY/NJ 

On July 22, 2020 Clean Ocean Action held an informational webinar about offshore wind development off New Jersey and New York. The webinar provided an overview of offshore wind development, touching upon topics such as why states are investing in offshore wind energy, who regulates the development of offshore wind, and what are the environmental concerns related to offshore wind development.   

A recording of the webinar can be accessed here. 

At the end of the webinar, Clean Ocean Action held a question and answer session. Clean Ocean Action staff attempted to answer as many questions as possible but were unable to address all. As a follow-up, Clean Ocean Action prepared the document, “Public Questions & Answers from 7/22/2020 Webinar: Offshore Wind Energy Development off NJ,” that answers the remaining questions raised by attendees. The questions are sorted by topic area.  

Several acronyms are used throughout this document. To see a full list of acronyms relevant to offshore wind development, consult Appendix A - Clean Ocean Action Offshore Wind Energy Development Acronym List (or click here for Appendix A).  

On July 22, 2020 Clean Ocean Action’s Policy Attorney, Peter Blair presented a Free Lunch & Learn Webinar on Offshore Wind Energy Development Off NY/NJ.

Watch the Webinar recording by clicking here.(Access Password: offshore2020#)

View Peter's presentation slides by clicking here.


NJ BPU Offshore Wind Strategic Plan & Second Solicitation for Offshore Wind Projects off NJ

The NJ Board of Public Utilities moved forward with two important dockets related to the future of offshore wind development off the coast of New Jersey. The first was the release of the Draft Offshore Wind Strategic Plan, which is designed to act as a blueprint for New Jersey’s development of 7,500 MW of offshore wind energy by 2035. The second was the release of the Draft Guidance Document for the Second Solicitation, which outlines the application requirements for offshore wind developers seeking approval to be the second offshore wind farm in New Jersey. The BPU held a public hearing on both documents and the hearings were attended by a wide range of stakeholders including COA.  

Read COA's final comments on the Offshore Wind Strategic Plan.

Read COA's comments on the NJBPU Draft Guidance Document for the Second Solicitation on Offshore Wind Development.


Offshore Wind Energy

A healthy coastal ecosystem depends on the dramatic reduction of fossil fuel energy consumption and the establishment of a comprehensive energy policy that, first and foremost, puts a premium on energy conservation and efficiency.  Subsequent to these steps, Clean Ocean Action (COA) supports the responsible development of offshore wind energy (OSW) off the coasts of New Jersey and New York, which is a firm step toward reducing reliance on fossil fuel energy sources.  Responsible development means that pre-planning, oversight, and precaution must be required before any OSW development occurs. 

Specifically, COA calls for comprehensive ecological baseline studies, standardized data collection methods, ecological performance standards, risk analyses, pilot studies, and the recognition of the importance of meaningful public participation in all stages of the process.  These requirements are consistent with the recent federal government initiatives to integrate ocean resource uses and users.   Under the National Ocean Policy and Framework for Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning, any coastal or ocean program should protect, maintain, and restore the health and biological diversity of the ecosystem.  These goals go hand-in-hand with COA’s call for precaution and pre-planning.

Overarching Policy: To ensure the environmentally sustainable development of Offshore Wind in the New York/ New Jersey Bight.

Read Clean Ocean Action Offshore Wind Policy Stance.

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49 Avenel Blvd.
Long Branch, NJ 07740

Field Office:

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Voice: (732) 872-0111
FAX: (732) 872-8041


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