Slide 1

Overview of Minerals
Management Service’s
Alternative Energy
Ocean Law Conference
May 22, 2008
Seattle, WA
Walter D. Cruickshank
Deputy Director
Minerals Management Service
Key Initiatives
Programmatic EIS
Record of Decision
Interim Policy for Limited Leasing
Environmental Studies
Mapping Initiative
Review of Cape Wind Proposal
Energy Policy Act of 2005
• Section 388 amended Section 8 of OCSLA
• Authority to regulate a broad spectrum of
– Alternative energy (e.g., wind, ocean wave,
ocean current, hydrogen production)
– Alternate use of existing facilities (e.g.,
research and offshore support stations)
Key Mandates
• Coordination with affected State & local
governments and Federal agencies
• Safety
• Protection of the environment
• Competitive issuance of leases
• Fair return for use of OCS lands
• Revenue sharing with affected States
Programmatic EIS and ROD
• Published final EIS in November 2007
• Record of Decision issued January 2008
– Adopted 15 policies and 52 Best Management
MMS Policies
• Consult with affected state and local
governments early in the planning process
• Implement adaptive management
strategies that will include monitoring of
Best Management Practices
Lessees will:
• Contact and consult with affected Federal, state, and
local agencies early in the planning process
• Evaluate avian use of the project area and design the
project to minimize or mitigate the potential for bird
strikes and habitat loss
• Minimize conflict with commercial fishing activity and
gear by advance notification of registered fisherman of
the location and timing of activities
• Seek public input in evaluating the visual design
elements of proposed wind facilities
Major Elements of AEAU Rule
– State/Federal Task Forces
Lease Issuance
– Competitive & Noncompetitive Leasing
– Commercial & Limited Leases
Lease Administration
– Bonding & Payments
Alternative Energy Plan Reviews
– Site Assessment
– Construction and Operations
Conduct of Approved Plan Activities
– Environmental and Safety Monitoring
– Inspections
Revenue sharing
Interim Policy for Limited Leasing
• MMS announced “interim policy” for limited leasing
before final regulations are in place
• IP applies to resource data collection and
technology testing activities
• Interim policy does not apply to wind turbine
• 5-year authorizations, with no priority right for
subsequent commercial development
• Primary interest from industry: met towers for wind;
technology testing for current and wave energy
Notice to Determine Competitive
Interest in Nominated Areas
• Notice issued April 2008
– 30 days to identify competitive interest
– 60 days to comment on proposed areas
• Areas selected
– Wind data collection in the Atlantic
– Ocean current data collection and technology testing
offshore Florida
– Wave data collection and technology testing offshore
Northern California
Lease Form
• Issued form for limited leases April 21, 2008
– 30 day comment period for information collection
• Lease describes
Lease rights, term, bonding, and rentals
Project plan, reporting requirements
Inspection, compliance and penalties
Environmental Studies Efforts
• Worldwide Synthesis and Workshop: Environmental
Effects of Alternative Energy on the OCS (June 2007)
– Attended by subject matter experts, stakeholders, and
MMS Scientific Advisory Committee
– Identified data gaps and study needs
– Suggested priorities for future studies
• Workshop on Birds and Offshore Wind Development
in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic (Feb 2008)
– MMS hosted a workshop to characterize existing
knowledge, highlight research needs, explore partnership
opportunities, and most importantly, to review monitoring
needs and mitigation approaches for bird impacts.
FY 2008 Studies
• Compendium of Avian
Information and
Comprehensive GIS
• OCS Alternative Energy and
Space-Use Conflict Mitigation
• Effects of EMF from
Transmission Lines on
Elasmobranchs and Other
Marine Species
• Evaluation of Visual Impacts
on Historic Properties
• Compilation of GIS Maps of
Benthic Habitats and Species
Interagency Mapping Initiative
• EPAct mandate
– Establish an interagency, comprehensive
digital mapping initiative
– Use to assist in decision making relative to
siting alternative energy activities
• Prototype marine cadastre under
Cape Wind Proposal
Image Courtesy of GE

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