via Deepwater Wind

MA - BOEM Pushes Back Final Findings on Vineyard Wind

A sweeping environmental review of the Vineyard Wind offshore wind project is now tracking to be finalized Jan. 15, as the federal Bureau of Offshore Energy Management completes its review of public comments.

BOEM received more than 13,000 comments on its Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Vineyard Wind, a planned 800-megawatt turbine array off southern New England, according to an agency spokesperson.

The final EIS is to be published Dec. 11, with the agency issuing its final record of decision Jan. 15 – a month’s delay for the report long-waited by the offshore wind supporters and its critics alike.

The second BOEM study was ordered up by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt in August 2019, after the National Marine Fisheries Service Greater Atlantic regional office refused to sign off on the first one. The supplemental study also looked at potential cumulative impacts of Vineyard Wind and 14 other potential wind projects now at various stages off the East Coast.

The mass of public commentary is one more among tasks that have repeatedly delayed regulators. But wind industry advocates in recent weeks expressed confidence that BOEM will complete the review, and analysts predict offshore wind developers would get a big boost from an incoming Biden administration.

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