The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) under Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 1501.7(a) require agencies such as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to perform certain actions as part of the scoping process, including:
• Determining the scope and the significant issues to be analyzed in depth in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS); and
• Identifying and eliminating from detailed study the issues that are not significant.
This Scoping Summary Report, in combination with the Draft EIS, is intended to satisfy BOEM’s obligations under 40 CFR 1501.7(a).
On May 27, 2022, US Wind submitted an updated Construction and Operations Plan (COP) to BOEM seeking approval to construct and operate up to 98 wind turbine generators (WTGs) with a capacity to generate 1,100 megawatts (herein referred to as the proposed Project or Proposed Action) offshore of Maryland in federal waters. On June 8, 2022, BOEM issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS consistent with NEPA regulations (42 United States Code § 4321 et seq.) to assess the potential impacts of the Proposed Action and alternatives (83 Federal Register 13777).
The NOI commenced a public scoping process, including three virtual meetings for identifying issues and potential alternatives for consideration in the EIS. The formal scoping period was from June 8 through July 8, 2022. During this timeframe, federal agencies, state and local governments, and the public had the opportunity to help BOEM identify potential significant resources and issues, impact-producing factors, reasonable alternatives (e.g., size, geographic, seasonal, or other restrictions on construction and siting of facilities and activities), and potential mitigation measures to analyze in the EIS, as well as provide additional information. BOEM also used the NEPA scoping process to initiate the Section 106 consultation process under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (54 United States Code § 300101 et seq.), as permitted by 36 CFR § 800.2(d)(3), which requires federal agencies to assess the effects of projects on historic properties. Additionally, BOEM informed its Section 106 consultation by seeking public comment and input through the NOI regarding the identification of historic properties or potential effects on historic properties from activities associated with approval of the US Wind COP. The NOI requested comments from the public in written form, delivered by hand or by mail, or through the regulations.gov web portal.
This Scoping Summary Report outlines the objectives, methodology, and content of the information provided by interested parties during the scoping period.