Feds Decline Full Environmental Review of Offshore Wind in Maine

Groups urged officials to study impacts in the Gulf of Maine

offshore wind

September 16, 2022 (BOSTON, MA) – The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has declined to conduct a comprehensive environmental review before designating areas for offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and several partners had pushed for a full review to be done before wind areas are chosen.

“This decision epitomizes short-term thinking that will only cause problems in the long run,” said Erica Fuller, Senior Attorney at CLF. “It’s simply backwards to choose areas for offshore wind development before doing a full environmental analysis, which would ultimately save time and money if done now. It is critical to advance offshore wind to respond to the climate crisis and clean up our electric grid, but it must be done in a science-based, inclusive and transparent way.”

Considered to be one of the most productive ecosystems in the world, the Gulf of Maine plays a significant role in the culture of New England and is the foundation for a coastal economy characterized by commercial and recreational fishing, aquaculture, recreational boating, shipping, and tourism.

CLF was joined in this effort by 350NH, Acadia Center, Blue Ocean Society, Friends of Casco Bay, Island Institute, League of Conservation Voters, Maine Conservation Voters, Maine Audubon, Mass. Audubon, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Council of Maine, NRDC, New England Aquarium, New Hampshire Audubon, Oceana, and Surfrider Foundation.

CLF experts are available for further comment.