This document is Appendix M-1 from the Final Environmental Assessment LEEDCo Project Icebreaker Lake Erie, City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing to authorize the expenditure of federal funding to support the design, permitting, construction, and decommissioning of a proposed offshore wind energy demonstration project in Lake Erie. Project Icebreaker (the Project) would be an approximately 21 megawatt (MW) offshore wind energy demonstration project consisting of six wind turbine generators in Lake Erie, approximately 8-10 miles from Cleveland, Ohio. DOE is the lead federal agency responsible for the preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Project. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) are cooperating agencies. USACE is responsible for reviewing impacts pursuant to Section 404 and 408 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. USCG is responsible for reviewing impacts related to navigation and the USCG mission.
This Biological Assessment (BA) was prepared in accordance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), which requires that all Federal agencies ensure that any action they authorize, fund, or execute will not jeopardize the continued existence of any federally-listed threatened or endangered species (i.e., listed species) or result in the destruction or adverse modification of any critical habitat of such species.
Five federally-listed species may occur in Cuyahoga County, Ohio at some point in their life cycles. Thus, these are the federally-listed species that could potentially be affected by the proposed action:
- Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) – Endangered
- Northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) – Threatened
- Kirtland’s warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) – Endangered
- Piping plover (Charadrius melodus) – Endangered
- Rufa red knot (Calidris canatus rufa) – Threatened
There are no candidate species, proposed listed species, or proposed or designated critical habitats in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The purpose of this BA is to review the proposed Project in sufficient detail to determine to what extent the proposed action may affect any of the threatened and endangered species listed above.