Public Comment: Commercial Offshore Wind Energy Leases

North Carolina officials are asking for public comment on whether the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s proposal to issue commercial offshore wind energy leases off the Wilmington coast is within the parameters of North Carolina’s Coastal Management Program.

The deadline to submit comments is Feb. 23.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Coastal Management said Monday it is evaluating BOEM’s Consistency Determination. The evaluation is to consider if issuing as many as three commercial wind energy leases and approving site assessment activities, which include the installation, operation and decommissioning of up to six meteorological buoys within the Wilmington East wind energy area, is consistent with the enforceable policies of the state’s Coastal Area Management Act, or CAMA, and rules of the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission.

The consistency determination does state that ‘the lease, by itself, would not authorize the lessee to construct or operate any wind energy project” on the outer continental shelf.

Send comments to Daniel Govoni, Federal Consistency Coordinator, 400 Commerce Ave., Morehead City, NC 28557, or by email to DCMcomments@ncdenr.gov. Write “Wilmington East WEA” in the subject line.

Officials said all comments would be considered in developing the state’s consistency response and that notice of the decision would be provided upon request.