Clean Ocean Action

1st Offshore Wind Project off New Jersey/New York

ACT NOW! DEMAND REASONABLE TIME TO REVIEW MASSIVE 1400+ PAGE DOCUMENT ON ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS FROM "OCEAN WIND 1"

  • Check out COA's Factsheet on Offshore Wind off the NY/NJ Coast

  • SIGN-UP* to find out how to support reasonable and responsible offshore wind development off the NY/NJ coast and to receive pertinent information from Clean Ocean Action about public comment opportunities, proposals, and other offshore wind related updates.

 

On June 17, 2022, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released the monstrous 1,400+ page "Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)" for Ørsted & PSE&G’s “Ocean Wind 1” 98-turbine wind energy project, 13 miles off Atlantic City, NJ. A 45-day public comment period started on June 24 and was to end on August 8, but BOEM extended the public comment period on August 3 15 more days. Comments are now due August 23 by 11:59PM ET. BOEM conducted 3 virtual public meetings in July 2022. 

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued the bare minimum requirement for public review of the lengthy & highly technical document. The DEIS includes:

  • 1400+ pages with 14 appendices numbering 934 pages, 79 tables, 42 maps and figures, and more than 900 referenced documents that must be reviewed,
  • 98 turbines almost as tall as the Chrysler Building and with blades taller than the Statue of Liberty,  
  • 3 offshore substations to convert electricity, each taller than Big Ben or a 27-story building,
  • hundreds of miles of sub-sea and onshore transmission cables cutting through the Atlantic Ocean, Barnegat Bay, & Great Egg Harbor Bay, and
  • new large port facilities in Atlantic City & on the Delaware River, destroying wetlands and open space.

The potential risks to the ocean and marine resources are great and grave, and too many questions must be considered and answered. While green energy is an opportunity, the risks and rewards must be understood:

  • How will building Ocean Wind 1 dramatically reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions?
  • How many acres of wetlands or open space will be destroyed and impacted by Ocean Wind 1?
  • What are the cumulative effects of the 11 other pending projects off NJ, totaling over 900 turbines?
  • These are just the beginning - 500,000 more acres are still being planned-out for more turbines. How are these cumulative impacts being addressed?

In the name of good and fair due process, urge BOEM to extend the public comment period by signing the petition and/or submitting your own comments (due by 11:59pm on August 23, 2022).

Here’s how to comment:

  • Submit written comments electronically via http://www.regulations.gov (search for Docket No. BOEM-2022-0021 & in the notice box click “Comment”).

  • Send written comments by mail in an envelope labeled “Ocean Wind 1 DEIS” and addressed to “Program Manager, Office of Renewable Energy, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 45600 Woodland Road, VAM-OREP, Sterling, Virginia 20166.”

The impacts -- both onland and offshore -- of this massive industrialization of the ocean are unknown. Learn the facts and get involved to protect marine resources!

Let’s be sure offshore wind is not done recklessly but done right. 

*COA does not sell or share contact information & will solely use this list for communicating about offshore wind energy.


 

Over 1 Million Acres of the Ocean Leased for Offshore Wind Energy

Massive Industrialization is Too Much, Too Fast

Over one million acres of open, public ocean has been leased to develop offshore wind energy off the New York and New Jersey coasts. Clearly, this is too much, too fast! Recently, a half million acres off NY/NJ were auctioned on February 23, 2022, and sold for $4.4 billion -- the largest offshore wind sale in US history. These offshore lands have been privatized by Big Energy for massive offshore wind industrialization. Read Clean Ocean Action's statement about the February 23, 2022 lease sales here.

COA supports responsible and reasonable offshore wind energy, but this is a reckless privatization, and will not ensure protection of marine life including whales, dolphins, turtles and the hundreds of other species that call the ocean home. 


Offshore Wind Companies to Harass Thousands of Whales, Dolphins, & Porpoises

Offshore wind companies are applying for Incidental Harassment Authorizations (IHA) from the National Marine Fisheries Service for site assessment activities in lease areas. Clean Ocean Action has submitted comments on many of these IHA applications, all of which so far are for during site assessment activities and not construction. Yet, thousands of whales, dolphins, and porpoises will be harassesd for months and years by offshore wind companies and the activities necessary to build thousands of offshore wind turbines and related faciliites in the ocean along the East Coast, and beyond. There are many species of marine mammals that live and migrate through the ocean off New York and New Jersey, including the critically endangered North Atlanic right whale, of which there are less than 350 left in the world. Recently, Clean Ocean Action submitted comments to NMFS responding to Orsted's IHA application for site assessment activities from Massachusetts to New York, related to their offhsore wind plans. Contact Clean Ocean Action about the latest applications to harass marine mammals from offshore wind companies.


Updates & COA Comments on Offshore Wind Energy off NY/NJ Coast

  1. Click here to review COA's comments to BOEM for the agency's preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind projects off New Jersey’s coast. (November 2021)
  2. COA's Comments to BOEM on NY Bight Draft Environmental Assessment on Leasing 800,000 acres of ocean off the NY/NJ coast for offshore wind energy development (September 23, 2021)
  3. COA's Comments to NJDEP on Federal Consistency Certification of Equinor’s Empire Wind project (September 4, 2021)
  4. COA's comments to BOEM on Empire Wind 1 & 2 - BOEM Notice of Intent to Prepare and Environmental Impact Statement (On July 26, 2021)
  5. Click here for Clean Ocean Action's commentson 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. (April 2021)
  6. 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 (April 2021)
  7. NJ BPU Offshore Wind Strategic Plan & Second Solicitation for Offshore Wind Projects off NJ: 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 PlanRead COA's comments on the NJBPU Draft Guidance Document for the Second Solicitation on Offshore Wind Development.
  8. Click the links below for information and resources presented during Clean Ocean Action's "Lunch and Learn" informational Zoom webinar on July 22, 2020, "Offshore Wind Energy Development Off NY/NJ." 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. 
  • View Clean Ocean Action's Policy Attorney's presentation slides by clicking 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). 

Clean Ocean Action & Offshore Wind Energy:

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. However, this new industry, untested in the USA, 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. 

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.

In sum, it is essential for offshore wind development to be done correctly and well.  Overarching Policy: To ensure the reasonsable, responsible, and environmentally sustainable development of Offshore Wind in the New York/ New Jersey Bight.

Headquarters:

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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