Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, August 2004

Proposal for 40 Windmills Up for Public Comment

     On Thursday, July 21, 2005, the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) extended the comment period deadline for the Offshore Wind Park to August 12.  Clean Ocean Action (COA) will submit comments requesting that the applicant perform an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).  To date, the ACE is undecided about whether an EIS should be required, which is unconscionable.  The industrial activity is the first of its kind in the NY/NJ Bight and must be carefully evaluated.  Importantly, no specific federal laws and regulations exist to site, manage, or operate the facility, raising additional concerns. 

     An EIS will allow the public to adequately assess the full impacts to the marine environment.  Currently, neither the Public Notice nor the application adequately address several issues regarding effects on the marine environment, including:

  • Contaminated Sediments and Noise Pollution:  The installation activities will disturb the seafloor by increasing suspended sediments and turbidity.  Such a disturbance can cause a wide range of negative impacts such as bioaccumulation in fish from contaminated suspended sediments, clogging of fish gills, and damage to fish larvae and eggs. 
  • Fuel and Oil Spill:  The potential exists for inadvertent releases of drilling fluids and fuel throughout construction and operation of the Wind Park.
  • Weather Threats:  The severity of the weather and the depth of water in the project location will put a tremendous burden on the Wind Turbines. LIPA has not addressed the potential problems involving the severity of weather on the Wind Park.

     New Jersey’s Blue Ribbon Panel is currently evaluating the appropriateness of offshore wind turbines.  Since the proposed LIPA project is so close to state waters, New Jersey has requested a consistency review from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

     As appropriate, COA will incorporate similar questions raised during the Panel’s evaluation process in written comments to ACE.  Organizations and citizens are invited to sign onto these comments.  To sign on, contact Kari by August 10 at 732-872-0111 or


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