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BOEM issues draft plan for wind energy generated off of the coasts of NY and NJ

This month, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) issued a draft plan involving the New York Bight, which could ensure up to 9.6 gigawatts of offshore wind energy. The identified wind energy area (WEA) lease tracts consist of up to 793,862 acres; the draft WEAs are smaller than those initially identified during the public comment process, which was met with objections from the commercial fishing industry. Providing for transit lanes seems to be a priority related to the envisioned project: despite being in the draft phase, “BOEM has already put developers with New England leases on notice that they will be required to set aside vessel transit lanes, one demand from the commercial fishing industry that says crews need broad safety zones to return to port during bad weather.” BOEM will discuss the project at its intergovernmental task force meeting at the end of this month in New York City, and has indicated that it “welcomes additional stakeholder perspectives.”

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