Network Statement on DOI Appropriations Amendment

Baltimore, Maryland – July 19, 2017 —The Business Network For Offshore Wind, a leader in building the U.S. offshore wind supply chain, believes addressing stakeholder conflicts throughout the offshore wind development process is critical. The U.S. House of Representative Interior Appropriations SubCommittees approval of an amendment that prohibits federal funds to conduct reviews of site assessment or construction and operation plans for any project that would entail the construction or location of wind turbines less than 24 nautical miles from the State of Maryland shoreline circumvents the established DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) regulatory process. It could also undermine the State of Maryland’s investment in the offshore wind projects.

BOEM has entered long-term lease contracts with developers and received many millions of dollars in return for material use of the defined areas in the ocean. To suddenly and subsequently disallow the use for which the contract was originally agreed could result in a breach of contract and possible constitutional violation.

BOEM requires extensive stakeholder outreach and marine spatial planning process that de-conflicts the wind energy area prior to the Point of Sale Notice (PSN). Furthermore, BOEM’s Construction and Operations Plan approval also requires stakeholder outreach and input in order to minimize conflicts. The Network has witnessed firsthand how BOEM’s offshore wind energy area leasing policies foster the co-existence of industries and shared utilization of our nation’s ocean resources to the benefit of the states, their businesses, and citizens.

It is the Network’s and its more than 150 members’ position that conflicts that arise can be resolved with sound science, education and a willingness to cooperate. We remain committed to resolving these concerns based on meeting the mutual needs of all the parties across the State. We hope that this issue will be resolved quickly and that the Maryland offshore wind projects can be developed within a timely manner to benefit the emerging offshore wind industry supply chain.

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