Federal Environmental Review Begins for Deepwater Wind

A tour of Deepwater Wind's wind farm off Block Island. Peter Boody photo

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management published a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement on plans by Deepwater Wind to develop the South Fork Wind Farm roughly 30 miles off the coast of Montauk.

BOEM will lead the federal review of Deepwater Wind’s proposal to construct up to 15 wind turbines as a part of its South Fork Wind Farm Project. The New York State Public Service Commission will lead the state review of the project.

According to a press release issued by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, the notice was published in the Federal Register on October 19 and will have a 30-day public comment period that will close on November 19.

“The U.S. is making offshore wind a major priority for our energy future. The South Fork Wind Farm, New York’s first offshore wind farm, will be a centerpiece of that vision,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski in a statement. “Starting the EIS review is a major step forward for the South Fork Wind Farm and an important milestone. This extensive review will examine the project’s Construction and Operations Plan (COP) and related environmental considerations.

“The public will have the opportunity to review the COP and to provide their input to BOEM at three community meetings held in East Hampton, in Rhode Island and in Massachusetts, or through written comment. Our timeline is right on-schedule. We’re on-track to begin construction on the South Fork Wind Farm once the EIS and permits are in-hand, by 2021, and to deliver clean energy to the South Fork starting in 2022.”

BOEM will hold three public meetings in the beginning of November on the project including a Monday, November 5 session at the American Legion Post 419, 15 Montauk Highway in Amagansett. An open house will be from 5 to 8 p.m. with presentations and a question-and-answer period at 6 p.m.

Comments can also be made online and via mail. For information on how to submit your own comment, visit boem.gov/South-Fork/.