By David Wojick
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is taking public comments on a massive proposal to harass large numbers of whales and other marine mammals off Virginia by building a huge offshore wind complex. There is supposed to be an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed harassment, but it is not there with the proposal.
We are told it is elsewhere, but after searching we find that it simply does not exist. Like a shell game where the pea has been palmed, there is nothing to be found.
First, the bureaucratic background. The wind project is Dominion Energy Virginia’s 176-turbine offshore Virginia facility, which if built would be the world’s biggest to date. NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is proposing to issue a five-year harassment authorization for the construction of this monster. This is about an enormous amount of pile driving, not just a sonar site survey, although there is more of that too.
Technically this is a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Here is the announcement:
NMFS has received a request from the Virginia Electric and Power Company, doing business as Dominion Energy Virginia (Dominion Energy), for Incidental Take Regulations (ITR) and an associated Letter of Authorization (LOA) pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).
There is a handy comment button at the beginning, with the comment period ending June 5. I urge people to comment, especially along the lines discussed below. Continue reading