[MARMAM] Final Incidental Take Regulations for the Empire Wind Project, Offshore New York

Jessica Taylor - NOAA Affiliate jessica.taylor at noaa.gov
Tue Feb 13 06:47:18 PST 2024


Dear Colleagues,

On February 14, 2024, NOAA Fisheries will publish the final incidental take
regulations related to Empire Wind’s Empire Wind Project
<https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/empire-wind>. The
effective dates for these regulations are February 22, 2024 through
February 21, 2029. The project would be located offshore New York within
the New York Wind Energy Area, and under original power purchase agreements
would provide an estimated 2,076 megawatts of power to New York.

Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, these regulations will govern
the “take” by harassment only, of small numbers of marine mammals exposed
to elevated underwater noise generated by the project’s activities over a
five-year period. NOAA Fisheries has determined the project activities and
resulting take that may be authorized under the final rule, will have a
negligible impact on all affected marine mammal species and stocks. No take
by mortality, serious injury, or non-auditory injury is anticipated to
occur, nor is it authorized under the final rule. NOAA Fisheries
anticipates making a final decision regarding issuance of the associated
Letter of Authorization on February 22, 2024.

As required by the MMPA, the final regulations include mandatory mitigation
measures to be undertaken by the wind developer that ensure the “least
practicable adverse impact” on marine mammals and their habitat, as well as
monitoring and reporting measures to better understand those impacts.
Impacts to a small number of North Atlantic right whales are expected to be
limited to short-term behavioral disturbance (Level B harassment).

Documents associated with this final action will be available on our website
<https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/incidental-take-authorization-empire-offshore-wind-llc-construction-empire-wind-project-ew1?check_logged_in=1>
 tomorrow.

NOAA Fisheries is committed to careful review and use of the best available
scientific information in satisfying the requirements of the Marine Mammal
Protection Act.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Thank you,
Jessica Taylor

-- 
Jessica Taylor, M.E.M. (she/her)
Senior Analyst, ESA/MMPA Support Services
Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
Permits and Conservation Division
Office of Protected Resources, NOAA Fisheries
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 427-8475
Email: Jessica.Taylor at noaa.gov
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