WHAT U.S. OFFSHORE WIND HAS BEEN WAITING FOR
In response to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s Announcement on Offshore Wind
Jim Lanard, February 2, 2012 (Offshore Wind Development Coalition)
"…[The] Department of the Interior has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) after…[ evaluating] public comments on its draft Environmental Assessment for the Mid-Atlantic Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) regarding the issuance of leases for offshore wind farms in federal waters.
"…This is a critical step in the establishment of the U.S. offshore wind industry, which will create thousands of high skilled jobs and allow for billions of dollars in investment. The FONSI has the potential to reduce the permitting time line for offshore wind farms by as much as two years, as compared to a requirement that the agency prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for these WEAs, which would require two years of studies and government reviews…"
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"…The FONSI enables the Department to issue leases to qualified developers, who would then be able to assess a specific site’s potential to host an offshore wind farm and determine the best engineering and design requirements.
"…[D]evelopers will still be required to complete a comprehensive, project-specific EIS for any wind farm in federal waters. That EIS process will ensure that all environmental, historical, cultural, and other potential impacts are fully evaluated and shared with the public…before developers are given final approval to begin construction…"