“Smart from the Start”: DOI to Streamline Atlantic Offshore Wind Process

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    Sierra Club Virginia Chapter Director Glen Besa offered the following statement on today’s announcement by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar:

    “Sierra Club Virginia Chapter applauds today’s announcement by the Department of Interior of measures to expedite permitting of offshore wind power. ”

    “In the next 60 days the DOI’s Smart from the Start Initiative will designate Wind Energy Areas along our coast which are likely sites for offshore wind development. Then within six months federal agencies with knowledge of these sites including NOAA, Department of Defense, the Coast Guard and the US EPA would pool their information into site prospectuses that should provide wind developers with useful information to prepare offshore wind proposals.”  

    “These are common sense measures that can advance clean energy without sacrificing due process or environmental review.  With the great work that has already been done by the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium, we fully expect to see lease blocks off the Virginia Beach coast designated as Wind Energy Areas by the Department of Interior.”

    “The potential for clean energy jobs from offshore wind is enormous. From turbine manufacturing to marine construction putting the turbines in place, there are thousands of jobs to be realized.”  

    More information is available at:  http://www.boemre.gov/offshore/RenewableEnergy/index.htm