BOEM Releases Final Environmental Assessment for Central Atlantic Offshore Wind Lease


More wind in our sails! The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) just gave the green light for possible offshore wind lease activities in the Central Atlantic. They’re saying no significant impacts from leasing out ocean spaces off Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. So, start warming up those coastal binoculars: we might be seeing some new wind farms as soon as 2025. Even BOEM is blowing kisses to the environment, promising future developments will aim to reduce or mitigate potential harm. It’s all about that green energy glow up!

US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Clears Offshore Wind Lease Activities

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has given the green light for offshore wind lease activities in the Central Atlantic after the final Environmental Assessment (EA).

What Happens Next?

BOEM’s EA considered potential impacts of issuing leases for offshore wind development off the coasts of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. The report concluded that there wouldn’t be significant effects from these leases. BOEM Director, Elizabeth Klein, assures the public that any Central Atlantic development will aim to avoid, reduce, or mitigate potential impacts to ocean users and the marine environment.

Wind Energy Areas

Last year, two Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) in the Central Atlantic were proposed for an offshore wind lease sale by the Department of the Interior (DOI). These sites include Lease Area A-2, approximately 26.4 nautical miles from Delaware Bay, and Lease Area C-1, approximately 35 nautical miles from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

What’s the Plan?

In anticipation of a Central Atlantic sale later this year, BOEM published its draft EA that assessed potential impacts related to issuing wind energy leases. The final sale notice, to be published at least 30 days before the sale, will detail the lease sale time and date and qualified participants.

Before sanctioning any proposed offshore wind projects, BOEM will develop an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze project-specific impacts. Three Central Atlantic WEAs were announced by BOEM last July. However, the area WEA B-1, which isn’t included in this lease sale, needed further study and may be considered as part of a potential second lease sale in the Central Atlantic, possibly in 2025.

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