- Published: 31 May 2023 31 May 2023
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has issued a final environmental assessment (EA) on potential impacts from offshore wind leasing on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico. Based on the analysis in the EA, BOEM has issued a finding of no significant impacts to environmental resources.
In October 2022, BOEM announced two Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) offshore Texas and Louisiana that total about 682,000 acres – a subset of the 30-million-acre Call Area announced in November 2021. The WEAs represent offshore areas that appear to be the most suitable for wind energy development. in February 2023, BOEM announced its proposal for the first offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico for areas within the WEAs.
BOEM prepared the EA on the entire 30-million-acre Call Area to allow greater flexibility for possible identification of additional WEAs and to provide NEPA coverage in the event that non-competitive and research leases were proposed in the Call Area. The EA considered potential environmental consequences of site characterization activities (i.e., biological, archeological, geological, and geophysical surveys and core samples) and site assessment activities (i.e., installation of meteorological buoys) associated with the possibility of issuing wind energy leases in the Gulf of Mexico.