By Patrick Cassidy | Published: November 23, 2010
The federal government has announced that within the next 60 days it will designate areas off the Atlantic coast that are suitable for wind energy projects. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made the announcement today at Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore, calling the expedited process for siting wind turbines off the coast a “new chapter” in the development of the country’s offshore wind industry. There is potential for 1,000 gigawatts of wind energy off the Atlantic coastline, Salazar said.
The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) filed comments on the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS/OEIS) for Marine Seismic Research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) or Conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
In the comments, CRE explains that the “draft PEIS/OEIS should be revised to delete any use of the JASCO/MONM/AIM models to determine compliance with a regulation base on an rms SPL metric” and that if “NMFS wants to change from an rms SPL metric to a SEL regulatory metric, then NMFS should continue with its 2005 proceeding or institute another proceeding which transparently announces and addresses the scope of such a major regulatory change, and which solicits the participation of all stakeholders in federal regulation of ocean sound.”
Attached below are the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness’ comments to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on an Information Collection Request (ICR) by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regarding ”Applications and Reporting Requirements for the Incidental Take of Marine Mammals by Specified Activities (other than Commercial Fishing Operations) under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.”
Under the Paperwork Reduction Act, OMB approval is required for any agency-proposed collection of information.
The comments emphasize that “CRE does not object to the seismic activities that are the subject of this ICR. Offshore seismic is safe when conducted in accordance with long standing and well known mitigation requirements.” CRE does explain, however, that they are “concerned with the process by which NMFS is collecting seismic information.”
BOEMRE Publishes Request for Interest (RFI) for Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the OCS, Offshore Maryland“The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) invites submissions describing interest in obtaining one or more commercial leases for the construction of a wind energy project(s) on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore Maryland. The BOEMRE will use responses to this RFI to enable BOEMRE to gauge specific interest in commercial development of OCS wind resources in the area described…”
“Also, with this announcement the BOEMRE invites all interested and affected parties to comment and provide information—including information on environmental issues and concerns—that will be useful in the consideration of the RFI area for commercial wind energy leases.”
– Ted Ames
The National Ocean Policy Initiative (NOP) is potentially a great idea. A properly designed approach with spatial management could dramatically
reduce the siege of claims and lawsuits brought bycompeting interests and at the same time, a proposed collaborative approach could prevent
further degradation of fragile coastal ecologies and perhaps reverse the decline of fisheries. Today’s Gulf of Maine has become very crowded when
compared to its earlier usage. The number and variety of issues confronting the Initiative that need resolution is impressive and a more unified