BOEM To Address US Wind Comments

OCEAN CITY – A federal agency will parse through more than 1,000 comments as it drafts a final impact statement for US Wind’s offshore project.

On Nov. 20, the public comment period for US Wind’s draft environmental impact statement closed, setting in motion the next phase of the federal approval process. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will now review the 1,150 comments provided and bring formulating a final impact statement for the company’s construction and operations plan (COP).

“After BOEM holds the public hearings and addresses comments provided, BOEM will publish a final environmental impact statement (FEIS),” said BOEM’s Lissa Eng. “The FEIS will inform BOEM’s decision whether to approve, approve with modifications, or disapprove the COP.”

In October, BOEM announced a draft environmental impact statement on US Wind’s COP would be available for public review. In the weeks that followed, the federal agency held several virtual and in-person meetings allowing community members to view the company’s plans for its offshore wind project, located off the coast of Ocean City.

Those in opposition argue the project would not only affect offshore fishing grounds and wildlife, but the viewshed. Community members also shared their concerns that the placement of wind turbines off the coast would impact property values.

Those in support, however, say the project supports renewable energy goals and local jobs.

As proposed, US Wind plans to construct up to 121 wind turbines, up to four offshore substation platforms and one meteorological tower within an offshore lease area located approximately 8.7 nautical miles from Ocean City’s shoreline and nine nautical miles from Sussex County, Del.

If approved, BOEM reports the project could generate between 1,100 and 2,200 megawatts of renewable energy for the Delmarva Peninsula and support up to 2,600 jobs annually throughout the development and construction phases.

In a public meeting this fall, BOEM’s Lorena Edenfield said comments collected from the public will be used to finalize the EIS, which could be released as early as next summer.

“At that point, the final EIS goes to our decision maker, and they will decide whether to approve the action as proposed, approve it with modifications, or to disapprove it,” she explained.

Additional information on Maryland’s offshore wind project, including visual impact assessments and US Wind’s Construction and Operations Plan, can be found at

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.