In response to a request from Gov. Phil Murphy, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has extended the public comment period for offshore wind energy development in the New York/New Jersey Bight.
A public comment session is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, July 10 at the Stafford Township Municipal Building, 260 East Bay Ave., Manahawkin.
An earlier session in the region is 5-7 p.m. July 9 at the Belmar Township Municipal Building, 601 Main St., Belmar.
Although the public will have other opportunities to provide comment during the wind energy development process, “providing comments at this first stage is critical for reducing potential user conflicts and potential adverse impacts to marine species and habitats,” said a letter from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to “marine resources stakeholders.”
The current public comment sessions were arranged by the state with BOEM “to help ensure that BOEM is aware of the questions or concerns that New Jersey’s marine resource stakeholders may have,” the letter said.
“Please note that only written comments will be considered as formal comment submissions; however, BOEM will provide comment cards at the meeting for handwritten submissions.
“If you are unable to attend a meeting, or if you prefer to submit written comment to BOEM electronically, you must do so before July 30th. Comments may be submitted electronically or in hard-copy form.”
To submit comments online, or get information on how to mail in comments, go to the website regulations.gov and in the search bar, enter BOEM-2018-0004.
What the public can find on that site is “Call for Information and Nominations for Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf in the New York Bight.”
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has been inviting proposals for commercial wind leases for a wind energy project on the Outer Continental Shelf in the New York Bight and to develop one or more projects, if approved, after further environmental review.
The NJDEP encourages marine resource stakeholders to review BOEM’s materials online. Their suggested links include: boem.gov/Atlantic-Region; boem.gov/New-Jersey; boem.gov/Press-Releases; boem.gov/Atlantic-Fishing-Industry-Communication-and-Engagement; boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Path-Forward. —M.S.
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