The U.S. Department of Interior’s announcement to establish a division of responsibility governing offshore wind oversight between the two agencies will ensure streamlined growth along U.S. coastlines
BALTIMORE — The Business Network for Offshore Wind, the leading national organization working to accelerate offshore wind energy deployment and build a dedicated supply chain, applauds today’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Interior that delineates regulatory oversight governing offshore wind development between the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE.) This split rule provides needed clarity and transparency for the offshore wind industry, ensuring a safety-first mindset and streamlined growth.
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of BOEM’s new proposed regulations that would modernize offshore wind processes in order to decrease costs and market uncertainty. Since BOEM and BSEE’s creation in 2011, their offshore wind roles and responsibilities have evolved as the industry developed. Although today’s announcement does not make substantive changes to current U.S. regulatory requirements or create additional requirements, it does provide marked delineations between the two Bureaus, including assigning responsibility to BSEE to evaluate and oversee wind project installation and safety management systems, enforce operational inspections, and compliance. Meanwhile, BOEM will maintain responsibility for determining offshore wind lease areas (WEAs), issuing leases, and reviewing and approving construction and operations plans (full list of responsibilities).
The following statement can be attributed to Liz Burdock, founder and CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind:
Today’s announcement establishes a reliable regulatory framework that the industry can plan around at a critical juncture for U.S. offshore wind. It is vital that as the industry grows, we adopt standards to ensure worker safety, regulatory certainty, and a clear set of guidelines for projects to follow throughout the country. 2023 is shaping up to be the year when we shift from demonstration to commercialization, and the proposed regulatory oversight sharing between BOEM and BSEE will provide safety for workers as projects continue moving forward.
For more information or to arrange an interview with the Network, contact Melinda Skea at [email protected] or 202-709-9793.