The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is seeking public comment on a draft guide with ways the offshore wind industry and lessees can mitigate impacts to fisheries.
The draft released Thursday covers areas such as project siting, design, navigation, access, safety and financial compensation.
The 60-day public review and comment period ends Aug. 22.
“Fishing communities and fisheries stakeholders are critical to our offshore energy development process, and we’re looking forward to discussions on this draft guidance,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton in a statement. “We’re seeking open and honest conversations focused on finding solutions to potential challenges as we work to provide clean, safe domestic energy for American taxpayers while at the same time providing good-paying jobs and building a U.S. supply chain to support this effort.”
The document is intended to help ensure consistent use of data and methodologies across projects and states and assist lessees and BOEM in the preparation and review of construction and operations plans.
BOEM representatives have scheduled public meetings to discuss the draft guidance and hear from commercial and recreational fishers and other interested parties firsthand. The meeting for the East Coast is 9-11 a.m. July 11.
A meeting for developers is set for 9-11 a.m. July 21.
Registration for the meetings and additional information including meeting dates for the Gulf and West coasts, are available on BOEM’s website.
While these meetings are focused on collecting feedback from the fishing industry and recreational fishers, they are open to the public and anyone can provide comments.
BOEM said it will review and consider comments on the draft guidance as it develops final guidance this summer.
“We want feedback on the entirety of mitigation framework, from facility design considerations to recommendations on compensatory mitigation, particularly from the people and organizations that this guidance is meant to aid,” said BOEM Marine Biologist Brian Hooker.
The draft mitigation document is the next step in the development of guidance for offshore wind companies. The process began this past winter through a request for information from the fishing industry, government agencies, nongovernment organizations, and the general public, in consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service, according to BOEM.