BY TOM HESTER SR.
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) on Monday announced it is seeking public comment on a draft environmental assessment on potential environmental and socioeconomic effects of issuing renewable energy leases for wind turbine development off the New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia coasts.
‚ÄúAmerica‚Äôs offshore wind resources offer great potential for helping power the Eastern seaboard and spurring new jobs and innovation,‚ÄĚ Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said. ‚ÄúThe ‚ÄėSmart from the Start‚Äô initiative will help companies identify areas offshore that are best suited for wind development, while also reducing the potential for costly delays and red tape. With today‚Äôs announcement, we are taking another step toward ensuring that renewable development along the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf becomes a reality.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúWe welcome stakeholder input throughout the renewable energy leasing process and invite public comments on this draft EA (environmental assessment),‚ÄĚ BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich said. ‚ÄúIf leases are issued in these geographic areas, we will conduct a thorough environmental analysis of each proposed commercial project. We will continue to work with our state renewable energy task forces to advance renewable energy development carefully and responsibly.‚ÄĚ