Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Projects Offshore New Jersey, 54231-54235 [2021-21300]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 187 / Thursday, September 30, 2021 / Notices LOTTER on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 • Road crossing data, to include data such as location data, global positioning system (GPS) coordinates, stream name and stream flow, road name, structure type and quantity, road surface type and condition, issues present at crossing, and name and contact. • Stream crossing data, to include data such as location/description, GPS coordinates, crossing type, structures/ barriers, inlet/outlet information, and stream flow type and condition. • Conservation project data, to include data such as project title and description, partner names and contact information, start and end dates for project, whether project is new or updated, cost of project, relevant website information, geographical location of project, project species data, project strategy (e.g., protect habitat, reduce human conflicts, climate change, etc.), and links to project reports. • Reporting locations and/or status of Service assets (such as trails, roads, gates, etc.), invasive species, dead animals, trash on public lands, and possible hazards. • Observations of wildlife occurrences, including location, species, observer, counts, and other physical characteristics of interest. • Vegetation monitoring data, which would include the condition of the resource, abundance, lifeform, and more. We use the information collected from our partners to support critical geospatial services for Service programs/functions, such as: Endangered Species and Fisheries & Habitat Conservation • Monitoring the extent and status of wetlands for management, research, policy development, education, and planning through the National Wetland Inventory. • Performing Natural Resources Damage Assessments, including evaluating exposure of trust species to toxic spills. • Proposing, designating, and informing the public about critical habitat for threatened & endangered (T&E) species and delivering official species lists and Section 7 consultations. • Providing information about sensitive resources (T&E species, Refuges, critical habitat) within the vicinity of a proposed project. • Conducting large-scale, multidisciplinary, multi-species analysis for habitat conservation and landscape conservation planning and restoration. • Improving fish passage and modeling the effects of barrier removal. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Sep 29, 2021 Jkt 253001 Migratory Bird Conservation • Conducting bird surveys: Survey design, navigation GPS files for pilots, and spatially referenced survey data. • Assessing habitat conditions and monitoring habitat improvement projects in joint ventures. • Conducting research on relationships between bird abundance/ productivity and habitat quantity and quality, and migration movement patterns. National Wildlife Refuge System • Developing alternatives for comprehensive conservation plans and supporting National Wildlife Refuge System (System) operational activities, including asset management, law enforcement, water resources, and fire management. • Mapping realty transactions and land status of Service properties and proposed expansions. • Analyzing strategic growth and land acquisition planning opportunities for the System. • Conducting biological surveys and managing data, including inventory and monitoring, invasive species control, and habitat management plans. • Managing Service infrastructure and assets. • Planning, responding, and mitigating impacts from natural disasters such as wildfire, hurricanes, disease outbreaks, and more. • Producing visitor service materials (maps, brochures) for public use and engagement of System lands. Landscape Conservation Cooperatives • Evaluating, planning, and implementing strategic habitat conservation and adaptive management at the landscape level. • Performing biological planning, conservation design and delivery, monitoring, and research for climate change and other stressors at the landscape level. Title of Collection: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ArcGIS Online (AGOL) Platform. OMB Control Number: 1018–New. Form Number: None. Type of Review: Existing collection in use without an OMB control number. Respondents/Affected Public: Private sector; State, local, and Tribal governments; and/or foreign governments. Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 300. Average Number of Responses per Respondent: 5. Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 1,500. PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 54231 Estimated Average Completion Time per Response: 5 minutes, depending on activity. Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 125 hours. Respondent’s Obligation: Voluntary. Frequency of Collection: On occasion. Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: None. An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Madonna Baucum, Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2021–21278 Filed 9–29–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Ocean Energy Management [Docket No. BOEM–2021–0057] Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Projects Offshore New Jersey Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Interior. ACTION: Notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS). AGENCY: Consistent with the regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), BOEM announces its intent to prepare an EIS for the review of a construction and operations plan (COP) submitted by Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, LLC, (Atlantic Shores) for its Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Projects. The COP proposes the development, construction, and operation of two wind energy projects (Project 1 and Project 2 or, collectively, the Projects) offshore New Jersey with transmission cables making landfall in either Atlantic City, New Jersey, Sea Girt, New Jersey, or both. This NOI announces the EIS scoping process for the Atlantic Shores COP. Additionally, this NOI seeks public comment and input under section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and its implementing regulations. Detailed information about the proposed Projects, including the COP, can be found on BOEM’s website at: https:// www.boem.gov/atlantic-shores. DATES: Comments received by November 1, 2021, will be considered. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30SEN1.SGM 30SEN1 54232 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 187 / Thursday, September 30, 2021 / Notices BOEM will hold virtual public scoping meetings for the Atlantic Shores EIS at the following dates and times (eastern time): • Tuesday, October 19, 5:00 p.m. • Thursday, October 21, 1:00 p.m.; and • Monday, October 25, 5:00 p.m. Registration for the virtual public meetings may be completed here: https://www.boem.gov/Atlantic-ShoresScoping-Virtual-Meetings. ADDRESSES: Written comments can be submitted in any of the following ways: • Delivered by mail or delivery service, enclosed in an envelope labeled ‘‘ATLANTIC SHORES COP EIS,’’ and addressed to Program Manager, Office of Renewable Energy Programs, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 45600 Woodland Road, Sterling, Virginia 20166; or • Through the regulations.gov web portal: Navigate to https:// www.regulations.gov and search for Docket No. BOEM–2021–0057. Select the document in the search results on which you want to comment, click on the ‘‘Comment’’ button, and follow the online instructions for submitting your comment. A commenter’s checklist is available on the comment web page. Enter your information and comment, then click ‘‘Submit.’’ FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michelle Morin, Office of Renewable Energy Programs, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 45600 Woodland Road, Sterling, Virginia 20166, (703) 787–1722 or michelle.morin@boem.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: LOTTER on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 Purpose of and Need for the Proposed Action In Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, issued on January 27, 2021, President Biden stated that it is the policy of the United States ‘‘to organize and deploy the full capacity of its agencies to combat the climate crisis to implement a Government-wide approach that reduces climate pollution in every sector of the economy; increases resilience to the impacts of climate change; protects public health; conserves our lands, waters, and biodiversity; delivers environmental justice; and spurs well-paying union jobs and economic growth, especially through innovation, commercialization, and deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure.’’ Through a competitive leasing process conducted under 30 CFR 585.211, BOEM awarded US Wind, LLC, the Commercial Lease OCS–A 0499 covering an area offshore New Jersey VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Sep 29, 2021 Jkt 253001 (the Lease Area). The lease was subsequently assigned to EDF Renewables Development, Inc., on November 16, 2018, and then to Atlantic Shores on August 13, 2019. Atlantic Shores has the exclusive right to submit a COP for activities within the Lease Area. Atlantic Shores submitted a COP to BOEM proposing the construction and installation, operations and maintenance, and conceptual decommissioning of two electrically distinct offshore wind energy Projects in the Lease Area. Atlantic Shores’ purpose and need is to develop two offshore wind energy generation Projects in the Lease Area to provide clean, renewable energy to the New Jersey electrical grid. The Projects would include up to 200 total wind turbine generators (WTGs) (between 105–136 WTGs for Project 1 and between 64–95 WTGs for Project 2), up to 10 offshore substations (up to five in each project), one permanent meteorological (met) tower, up to four temporary meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) buoys (one met tower and up to three metocean buoys in Project 1 and one metocean buoy in Project 2), inter-array and interlink cables, up to two onshore substations, one operations and maintenance facility, and up to eight transmission cables making landfall at up to two New Jersey locations: The Atlantic Landfall site in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Monmouth Landfall site in Sea Girt, New Jersey, or both. The Projects would contribute to New Jersey’s goal of 7.5 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy generation by 2035 as outlined in New Jersey Governor’s Executive Order No. 92, issued on November 19, 2019. Project 1 would fulfill the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities September 10, 2020, solicitation and subsequent June 30, 2021, award to Atlantic Shores for 1,510 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind capacity. Atlantic Shores is actively seeking additional offshore wind renewable energy certificate awards or purchase power agreements for Project 2. The Projects are intended to contribute substantially to the region’s electrical reliability and to help New Jersey achieve its renewable energy goals. Based on the goals of the applicant, BOEM’s authority, and Executive Order 14008, the purpose of BOEM’s action is to determine whether to approve, approve with modifications, or disapprove Atlantic Shores COP to construct and install, operate and maintain, and decommission two electrically distinct, commercial-scale, offshore wind energy Projects within the PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Lease Area (the Proposed Action). BOEM’s action is needed to further the United States policy to make Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) energy resources available for expeditious and orderly development, subject to environmental safeguards (43 U.S.C. 1332(3)), including consideration of natural resources, safety of navigation, and existing ocean uses. In addition, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) anticipates receipt of one or more requests for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to activities related to the Projects under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). NMFS issuance of an MMPA incidental take authorization is a major Federal action and, in relation to BOEM’s action, is considered a connected action (40 CFR 1501.9(e)(1)). The purpose of the NMFS action—which is a direct outcome of Atlantic Shores’ request for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to specified activities associated with the Projects (e.g., pile driving)—is to evaluate the applicant’s request pursuant to specific requirements of the MMPA and its implementing regulations administered by NMFS, considering impacts of the applicant’s activities on relevant resources, and if appropriate, issue the authorization. NMFS needs to render a decision regarding the request for authorization due to its responsibilities under the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1371(a)(5)(D)) and its implementing regulations. If, after independent review, NMFS makes the findings necessary to issue the requested authorization, NMFS intends to adopt BOEM’s EIS to support that decision and fulfill its NEPA requirements. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, (USACE) anticipates a permit action to be undertaken, through authority delegated to the District Engineer by 33 CFR 325.8, under section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (RHA) (33 U.S.C. 403) and section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) (33 U.S.C. 1344). In addition, it is anticipated that a section 408 permission will be required pursuant to section 14 of the RHA (33 U.S.C. 408) for any proposed alterations that have the potential to alter, occupy, or use any federally authorized civil works project. The USACE considers issuance of a permit or permission under these three delegated authorities a major Federal action connected to BOEM’s Proposed Action (40 CFR 1501.9(e)(1)). The applicant’s stated purpose and need for the projects as indicated above is to provide two commercially viable E:\FR\FM\30SEN1.SGM 30SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 187 / Thursday, September 30, 2021 / Notices LOTTER on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 offshore wind energy Projects within Lease OCS–A 0499 to help New Jersey achieve its renewable energy goals. The basic Projects’ purpose, as determined by USACE for section 404(b)(1) guidelines evaluation, is offshore wind energy generation. The overall Projects’ purpose for section 404(b)(1) guidelines evaluation, as determined by USACE, is the construction and operation of commercial-scale, offshore wind energy Projects for renewable energy generation and distribution to the New Jersey energy grid. The purpose of the USACE section 408 action, as determined by EC 1165–2–220, is to evaluate the applicant’s request and determine whether the proposed alterations are injurious to the public interest or impair the usefulness of the USACE project. The USACE section 408 permission is needed to ensure that congressionally authorized projects continue to provide their intended benefits to the public. USACE intends to adopt BOEM’s EIS to support its decision on any permits and permissions requested under section 10 of the RHA, section 404 of the CWA, and section 14 of the RHA. The USACE would adopt the EIS pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.3 if, after its independent review of the document, it concludes that the EIS satisfies the USACE’s comments and recommendations. Based on its participation as a cooperating agency and its consideration of the final EIS, the USACE would issue a record of decision to formally document its decision on the Proposed Action. Preliminary Proposed Action and Alternatives The Proposed Action is to develop two electrically distinct, offshore, wind energy generation Projects in the Lease Area to provide clean, renewable energy to the New Jersey electrical grid. The Proposed Action would include up to 200 total WTGs (between 105–136 WTGs for Project 1 and between 64–95 WTGs for Project 2), up to 10 offshore substations (up to five in each Project), one permanent met tower, up to four temporary metocean buoys (one met tower and up to three metocean buoys in Project 1 and one metocean buoy in Project 2), inter-array and inter-link cables, up to two onshore substations, one operations and maintenance facility, and up to eight transmission cables making landfall at up to two New Jersey locations: The Atlantic Landfall site in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the Monmouth Landfall site in Sea Girt, New Jersey, or both. Atlantic Shores expects WTG and offshore substation foundations to consist of either gravity-based jackets, VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Sep 29, 2021 Jkt 253001 monopiles, suction buckets, or a combination of them. The WTGs, offshore substations, array cables, and substation interconnector cables would be located on the OCS approximately 8.7 miles (mi) (14 kilometers (km)) from the New Jersey shoreline at its closest point. The offshore transmission cables would be buried below the seabed of both the OCS and New Jersey state waters. If any reasonable alternatives are identified during the scoping period, BOEM will evaluate those alternatives in the draft EIS, which will also include a no action alternative. Under the no action alternative, BOEM would disapprove the COP and the Atlantic Shores’ Projects described in the COP would not be built in the Lease Area. After BOEM completes the EIS, BOEM will decide whether to approve, approve with modification, or disapprove the Atlantic Shores COP. If BOEM approves the COP and the Projects are constructed, the lessee must submit a plan to decommission the Projects before the end of the lease term. Summary of Expected Impacts The draft EIS will identify and describe the effects of the Proposed Action and the alternatives on the human environment that are reasonably foreseeable and have a reasonably close causal relationship to the Proposed Action and alternatives. This includes such effects that occur at the same time and place as the Proposed Action and alternatives and such effects that are later in time or not at the same place. Expected impacts include, but are not limited to, impacts (both beneficial and adverse) on air quality, water quality, bats, benthic habitat, essential fish habitat, invertebrates, finfish, birds, marine mammals, terrestrial and coastal habitats and fauna, sea turtles, wetlands and other waters of the United States, commercial fisheries and for-hire recreational fishing, cultural resources, demographics, employment, economics, environmental justice, land use and coastal infrastructure, navigation and vessel traffic, other marine uses, recreation and tourism, and visual resources. The effects of these expected impacts will be analyzed in the draft and final EIS. Based on a preliminary evaluation of these resources, BOEM expects impacts on sea turtles and marine mammals from underwater noise caused by construction and from collisions with vessel traffic associated with the Projects. Structures installed for the Projects could permanently change benthic habitat and other fish habitat. Commercial fisheries and for-hire PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 54233 recreational fishing could be impacted. The Projects’ structures above the water could affect the visual character defining historic properties and recreational and tourism areas. The Projects’ structures also would pose an allision and height hazard to vessels passing close by, and vessels would in turn pose a hazard to the structures. Additionally, the Projects could adversely impact mineral extraction, military use, air traffic, land-based radar services, cables and pipelines, and scientific surveys. Beneficial impacts are also expected by facilitating achievement of State renewable energy goals, increasing job opportunities, improving air quality, and reducing carbon emissions. The EIS will analyze measures that would avoid, minimize, or mitigate environmental effects. Anticipated Permits and Authorizations In addition to the requested COP approval, various other Federal, State, and local authorizations will be required for the Projects. These include authorizations under the Endangered Species Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, MMPA, NHPA, RHA, CWA, Coastal Zone Management Act, and other laws and regulations determined to be applicable to the Projects. BOEM will also conduct government-to-government Tribal consultations. For a full listing of regulatory requirements applicable to the Projects, please see the COP, volume I, available at https://www.boem.gov/ atlantic-shores. BOEM has chosen to use the NEPA substitution process to fulfill its obligations under NHPA. While BOEM’s obligations under NHPA and NEPA are independent, the regulations implementing NHPA allow for the use of NEPA review to substitute for various aspects of NHPA’s section 106 (54 U.S.C. 306108) review to improve efficiency, promote transparency and accountability, and support a broadened discussion of potential effects that a project could have on the human environment. As provided in 36 CFR 800.8(c), the NEPA process and documentation required for the preparation of an EIS and record of decision (ROD) can be used to fulfill a lead Federal agency’s NHPA section 106 review obligations in lieu of the procedures set forth in 36 CFR 800.3 through 800.6. During preparation of the EIS, BOEM will ensure that the NEPA substitution process will meet its NHPA obligations necessary to successfully use this alternative process. E:\FR\FM\30SEN1.SGM 30SEN1 54234 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 187 / Thursday, September 30, 2021 / Notices Schedule for the Decision-Making Process https://www.boem.gov/atlantic-shoresScoping-Virtual-Meetings. After the draft EIS is completed, BOEM will publish a notice of availability (NOA) and request public comments on the draft EIS. BOEM expects to issue the NOA in November 2022. After the public comment period ends, BOEM will review and respond to comments received and will develop the final EIS. BOEM expects to make the final EIS available to the public in August 2023. A ROD will be completed no sooner than 30 days after the final EIS is released, in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.11. This COP is a ‘‘covered project’’ under section 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST–41). FAST–41 provides increased transparency and predictability by requiring Federal agencies to publish comprehensive permitting timetables for all covered projects. FAST–41 also provides procedures for modifying permitting timetables to address the unpredictability inherent in the environmental review and permitting process for significant infrastructure projects. To view the FAST–41 Permitting Dashboard for the Projects, visit: https://www.permits. performance.gov/permitting-project/ atlantic-shores-project-1. NEPA Cooperating Agencies BOEM invites other Federal agencies, Tribes, and State and local governments to consider becoming cooperating agencies in the preparation of this EIS. The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA regulations specify that qualified agencies and governments are those with ‘‘jurisdiction by law or special expertise.’’ Potential cooperating agencies should consider their authority and capacity to assume the responsibilities of a cooperating agency and should be aware that an agency’s role in the environmental analysis neither enlarges nor diminishes the final decision-making authority of any other agency involved in the NEPA process. Upon request, BOEM will provide potential cooperating agencies with a written summary of expectations for cooperating agencies, including schedules, milestones, responsibilities, scope and details of cooperating agencies’ contributions, and availability of pre-decisional information. BOEM anticipates this summary will form the basis for a memorandum of agreement between BOEM and any nonDepartment of the Interior cooperating agency. Agencies also should consider the factors for determining cooperating agency status in CEQ’s memorandum titled ‘‘Cooperating Agencies in Implementing the Procedural Requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act’’ of January 30, 2002. This document is available on the internet at: https://energy.gov/sites/ prod/files/nepapub/nepa_documents/ RedDont/G-CEQ-CoopAgencies Implem.pdf. BOEM, as the lead agency, does not provide financial assistance to cooperating agencies. Even if a governmental entity is not a cooperating agency, it will have opportunities to provide information and comments to BOEM during the public input stages of the NEPA process. LOTTER on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 Scoping Process This NOI commences the public scoping process to identify issues and potential alternatives for consideration in the Atlantic Shores EIS. Throughout the scoping process, Federal agencies; Tribal, State, and local governments; and the general public have the opportunity to help BOEM determine significant resources and issues, impactproducing factors, reasonable alternatives (e.g., size, geographic, seasonal, or other restrictions on construction and siting of facilities and activities), and potential mitigation measures to be analyzed in the EIS, as well as to provide additional information. In the interests of efficiency, completeness, and facilitating public involvement, BOEM will use the NEPA process to fulfill public involvement requirements established in 36 CFR 800.2(d). BOEM will hold virtual public scoping meetings for the Atlantic Shores EIS at the following dates and times (eastern time): • Tuesday, October 19, 5:00 p.m.; • Thursday, October 21, 1:00 p.m.; and • Monday, October 25, 5:00 p.m. Registration for the virtual public meetings may be completed here: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Sep 29, 2021 Jkt 253001 NHPA Consulting Parties Certain individuals and organizations with a demonstrated interest in the Projects can request to participate as NHPA consulting parties under 36 CFR 800.2(c)(5) based on their legal or economic stake in, or concern for, historic properties affected by the Projects. Before issuing this NOI, BOEM compiled a list of potential consulting parties and invited them to become consulting parties. To become a consulting party, those invited must respond in writing, preferably by the requested response date. PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Interested individuals or organizations that did not receive a written invitation can request to be consulting parties by writing to the appropriate staff at ICF International, Inc., which is supporting BOEM in its administration of this review. ICF’s contact for this review is Neil Sullivan. He can be reached at 9300 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22031 or AtlanticShoresSection106@icf.com. BOEM will determine which interested parties should be consulting parties. Comments Federal agencies; Tribal, State, and local governments; and other interested parties are requested to comment on the scope of this EIS, significant issues that should be addressed, and alternatives that should be considered. For information on how to submit comments, see the ADDRESSES section above. BOEM does not consider anonymous comments. Please include your name and address as part of your comment. BOEM makes all comments, including the names, addresses, and other personally identifiable information included in the comment, available for public review online. Individuals can request that BOEM withhold their names, addresses, or other personally identifiable information included in their comment from the public record; however, BOEM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so. To help BOEM determine whether to withhold from disclosure your personally identifiable information, you must identify any information contained in your comments that, if released, would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of your privacy. You also must briefly describe any possible harmful consequences of the disclosure of information, such as embarrassment, injury, or other harm. Additionally, under section 304 of NHPA, BOEM is required, after consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, to withhold the location, character, or ownership of historic resources if it determines that disclosure may, among other things, cause a significant invasion of privacy, risk harm to the historic resources, or impede the use of a traditional religious site by practitioners. Tribal entities and other parties providing information on historic resources should designate information that they wish to be held as confidential and provide the reasons why BOEM should do so. All submissions from organizations or businesses and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of E:\FR\FM\30SEN1.SGM 30SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 187 / Thursday, September 30, 2021 / Notices LOTTER on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 organizations or businesses will be made available for public inspection in their entirety. Request for Identification of Potential Alternatives, Information, and Analyses Relevant to the Proposed Action BOEM requests data, comments, views, information, analyses, alternatives, or suggestions on the Proposed Action from the public; affected Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments, agencies, and offices; the scientific community; industry; or any other interested party. Specifically, BOEM requests information on the following topics: 1. Potential effects that the Proposed Action could have on biological resources, including bats, birds, coastal fauna, finfish, invertebrates, essential fish habitat, marine mammals, and sea turtles. 2. Potential effects that the Proposed Action could have on physical resources, including air quality, water quality, and wetlands and other waters of the United States. 3. Potential effects that the Proposed Action could have on socioeconomic and cultural resources, including commercial fisheries and for-hire recreational fishing, demographics, employment, economics, environmental justice, land use and coastal infrastructure, navigation and vessel traffic, other uses (marine minerals, military use, aviation), recreation and tourism, and scenic and visual resources. 4. Other possible reasonable alternatives to the Proposed Action that BOEM should consider, including additional or alternative avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures. 5. As part of its compliance with NHPA section 106 (54 U.S.C. 306108) and its implementing regulations (36 CFR part 800), BOEM seeks public comment and input regarding the identification of historic properties within the Proposed Action’s area of potential effects and the potential effects on those historic properties from the activities proposed in the COP. BOEM requests feedback from the public and consulting parties on the aforementioned information and any information that supports identification of historic properties under the NHPA. BOEM also solicits proposed measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate any adverse effects on historic properties. BOEM will present available information regarding known historic properties during the public scoping period at https://www.boem.gov/ atlantic-shores. BOEM’s effects analysis VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Sep 29, 2021 Jkt 253001 for historic properties will be available for public and consulting party comment in the draft EIS. 6. Information on other current or planned activities in, or in the vicinity of, the Proposed Action, their possible impacts on the Projects, and the Project’s possible impacts on those activities. 7. Other information relevant to the Proposed Action and its impacts on the human environment. To promote informed decisionmaking, comments should be as specific as possible and should provide as much detail as necessary to meaningfully participate and fully inform BOEM of the commenter’s position. Comments should explain why the issues raised are important to the consideration of potential environmental impacts and alternatives to the Proposed Action as well as economic, employment, and other impacts affecting the quality of the human environment. The draft EIS will include a summary that identifies all alternatives, information, and analyses submitted by Federal agencies, Tribal, State, and local governments, and other public commenters during the scoping process for consideration by BOEM, cooperating agencies, and the consulting parties. Authority: This NOI is published pursuant to NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., and implementing regulations at 40 CFR 1501.9. William Yancey Brown, Chief Environmental Officer, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. [FR Doc. 2021–21300 Filed 9–29–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MR–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement [S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 211S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 21XS501520; OMB Control Number 1029–0117] Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Legal, Financial, Compliance, and Related Information Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Information Collection; request for comment. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are proposing to renew an information collection. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 54235 Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before November 29, 2021. ADDRESSES: Send your comments on this information collection request (ICR) by mail to Mark Gehlhar, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1849 C Street NW, Room 4556–MIB, Washington, DC 20240, or by email to mgehlhar@osmre.gov. Please reference OMB Control Number 1029– 0117 in the subject line of your comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information about this ICR, contact Mark Gehlhar by email at mgehlhar@osmre.gov, or by telephone at 202–208–2716. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1), we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. We are soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of the agency; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the agency enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the agency minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Abstract: This collection of information is authorized by Section DATES: E:\FR\FM\30SEN1.SGM 30SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 187 (Thursday, September 30, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 54231-54235]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-21300]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

[Docket No. BOEM-2021-0057]


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Projects Offshore New Jersey

AGENCY: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact 
statement (EIS).

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SUMMARY: Consistent with the regulations implementing the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), BOEM announces its intent to prepare 
an EIS for the review of a construction and operations plan (COP) 
submitted by Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, LLC, (Atlantic Shores) for 
its Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Projects. The COP proposes the 
development, construction, and operation of two wind energy projects 
(Project 1 and Project 2 or, collectively, the Projects) offshore New 
Jersey with transmission cables making landfall in either Atlantic 
City, New Jersey, Sea Girt, New Jersey, or both. This NOI announces the 
EIS scoping process for the Atlantic Shores COP. Additionally, this NOI 
seeks public comment and input under section 106 of the National 
Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and its implementing regulations. 
Detailed information about the proposed Projects, including the COP, 
can be found on BOEM's website at: https://www.boem.gov/atlantic-shores.

DATES: Comments received by November 1, 2021, will be considered.

[[Page 54232]]

    BOEM will hold virtual public scoping meetings for the Atlantic 
Shores EIS at the following dates and times (eastern time):
     Tuesday, October 19, 5:00 p.m.
     Thursday, October 21, 1:00 p.m.; and
     Monday, October 25, 5:00 p.m.
    Registration for the virtual public meetings may be completed here: 
https://www.boem.gov/Atlantic-Shores-Scoping-Virtual-Meetings.

ADDRESSES: Written comments can be submitted in any of the following 
ways:
     Delivered by mail or delivery service, enclosed in an 
envelope labeled ``ATLANTIC SHORES COP EIS,'' and addressed to Program 
Manager, Office of Renewable Energy Programs, Bureau of Ocean Energy 
Management, 45600 Woodland Road, Sterling, Virginia 20166; or
     Through the regulations.gov web portal: Navigate to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket No. BOEM-2021-0057. Select 
the document in the search results on which you want to comment, click 
on the ``Comment'' button, and follow the online instructions for 
submitting your comment. A commenter's checklist is available on the 
comment web page. Enter your information and comment, then click 
``Submit.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michelle Morin, Office of Renewable 
Energy Programs, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 45600 Woodland 
Road, Sterling, Virginia 20166, (703) 787-1722 or 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Purpose of and Need for the Proposed Action

    In Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and 
Abroad, issued on January 27, 2021, President Biden stated that it is 
the policy of the United States ``to organize and deploy the full 
capacity of its agencies to combat the climate crisis to implement a 
Government-wide approach that reduces climate pollution in every sector 
of the economy; increases resilience to the impacts of climate change; 
protects public health; conserves our lands, waters, and biodiversity; 
delivers environmental justice; and spurs well-paying union jobs and 
economic growth, especially through innovation, commercialization, and 
deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure.''
    Through a competitive leasing process conducted under 30 CFR 
585.211, BOEM awarded US Wind, LLC, the Commercial Lease OCS-A 0499 
covering an area offshore New Jersey (the Lease Area). The lease was 
subsequently assigned to EDF Renewables Development, Inc., on November 
16, 2018, and then to Atlantic Shores on August 13, 2019. Atlantic 
Shores has the exclusive right to submit a COP for activities within 
the Lease Area. Atlantic Shores submitted a COP to BOEM proposing the 
construction and installation, operations and maintenance, and 
conceptual decommissioning of two electrically distinct offshore wind 
energy Projects in the Lease Area.
    Atlantic Shores' purpose and need is to develop two offshore wind 
energy generation Projects in the Lease Area to provide clean, 
renewable energy to the New Jersey electrical grid. The Projects would 
include up to 200 total wind turbine generators (WTGs) (between 105-136 
WTGs for Project 1 and between 64-95 WTGs for Project 2), up to 10 
offshore substations (up to five in each project), one permanent 
meteorological (met) tower, up to four temporary meteorological and 
oceanographic (metocean) buoys (one met tower and up to three metocean 
buoys in Project 1 and one metocean buoy in Project 2), inter-array and 
inter-link cables, up to two onshore substations, one operations and 
maintenance facility, and up to eight transmission cables making 
landfall at up to two New Jersey locations: The Atlantic Landfall site 
in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Monmouth Landfall site in Sea Girt, New 
Jersey, or both.
    The Projects would contribute to New Jersey's goal of 7.5 gigawatts 
(GW) of offshore wind energy generation by 2035 as outlined in New 
Jersey Governor's Executive Order No. 92, issued on November 19, 2019. 
Project 1 would fulfill the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities 
September 10, 2020, solicitation and subsequent June 30, 2021, award to 
Atlantic Shores for 1,510 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind capacity. 
Atlantic Shores is actively seeking additional offshore wind renewable 
energy certificate awards or purchase power agreements for Project 2. 
The Projects are intended to contribute substantially to the region's 
electrical reliability and to help New Jersey achieve its renewable 
energy goals.
    Based on the goals of the applicant, BOEM's authority, and 
Executive Order 14008, the purpose of BOEM's action is to determine 
whether to approve, approve with modifications, or disapprove Atlantic 
Shores COP to construct and install, operate and maintain, and 
decommission two electrically distinct, commercial-scale, offshore wind 
energy Projects within the Lease Area (the Proposed Action). BOEM's 
action is needed to further the United States policy to make Outer 
Continental Shelf (OCS) energy resources available for expeditious and 
orderly development, subject to environmental safeguards (43 U.S.C. 
1332(3)), including consideration of natural resources, safety of 
navigation, and existing ocean uses.
    In addition, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 
(NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) anticipates receipt of 
one or more requests for authorization to take marine mammals 
incidental to activities related to the Projects under the Marine 
Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). NMFS issuance of an MMPA incidental take 
authorization is a major Federal action and, in relation to BOEM's 
action, is considered a connected action (40 CFR 1501.9(e)(1)). The 
purpose of the NMFS action--which is a direct outcome of Atlantic 
Shores' request for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to 
specified activities associated with the Projects (e.g., pile 
driving)--is to evaluate the applicant's request pursuant to specific 
requirements of the MMPA and its implementing regulations administered 
by NMFS, considering impacts of the applicant's activities on relevant 
resources, and if appropriate, issue the authorization. NMFS needs to 
render a decision regarding the request for authorization due to its 
responsibilities under the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1371(a)(5)(D)) and its 
implementing regulations. If, after independent review, NMFS makes the 
findings necessary to issue the requested authorization, NMFS intends 
to adopt BOEM's EIS to support that decision and fulfill its NEPA 
requirements.
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, (USACE) 
anticipates a permit action to be undertaken, through authority 
delegated to the District Engineer by 33 CFR 325.8, under section 10 of 
the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (RHA) (33 U.S.C. 403) and section 
404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) (33 U.S.C. 1344). In addition, it is 
anticipated that a section 408 permission will be required pursuant to 
section 14 of the RHA (33 U.S.C. 408) for any proposed alterations that 
have the potential to alter, occupy, or use any federally authorized 
civil works project. The USACE considers issuance of a permit or 
permission under these three delegated authorities a major Federal 
action connected to BOEM's Proposed Action (40 CFR 1501.9(e)(1)).
    The applicant's stated purpose and need for the projects as 
indicated above is to provide two commercially viable

[[Page 54233]]

offshore wind energy Projects within Lease OCS-A 0499 to help New 
Jersey achieve its renewable energy goals. The basic Projects' purpose, 
as determined by USACE for section 404(b)(1) guidelines evaluation, is 
offshore wind energy generation. The overall Projects' purpose for 
section 404(b)(1) guidelines evaluation, as determined by USACE, is the 
construction and operation of commercial-scale, offshore wind energy 
Projects for renewable energy generation and distribution to the New 
Jersey energy grid. The purpose of the USACE section 408 action, as 
determined by EC 1165-2-220, is to evaluate the applicant's request and 
determine whether the proposed alterations are injurious to the public 
interest or impair the usefulness of the USACE project. The USACE 
section 408 permission is needed to ensure that congressionally 
authorized projects continue to provide their intended benefits to the 
public.
    USACE intends to adopt BOEM's EIS to support its decision on any 
permits and permissions requested under section 10 of the RHA, section 
404 of the CWA, and section 14 of the RHA. The USACE would adopt the 
EIS pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.3 if, after its independent review of the 
document, it concludes that the EIS satisfies the USACE's comments and 
recommendations. Based on its participation as a cooperating agency and 
its consideration of the final EIS, the USACE would issue a record of 
decision to formally document its decision on the Proposed Action.

Preliminary Proposed Action and Alternatives

    The Proposed Action is to develop two electrically distinct, 
offshore, wind energy generation Projects in the Lease Area to provide 
clean, renewable energy to the New Jersey electrical grid. The Proposed 
Action would include up to 200 total WTGs (between 105-136 WTGs for 
Project 1 and between 64-95 WTGs for Project 2), up to 10 offshore 
substations (up to five in each Project), one permanent met tower, up 
to four temporary metocean buoys (one met tower and up to three 
metocean buoys in Project 1 and one metocean buoy in Project 2), inter-
array and inter-link cables, up to two onshore substations, one 
operations and maintenance facility, and up to eight transmission 
cables making landfall at up to two New Jersey locations: The Atlantic 
Landfall site in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the Monmouth Landfall site 
in Sea Girt, New Jersey, or both.
    Atlantic Shores expects WTG and offshore substation foundations to 
consist of either gravity-based jackets, monopiles, suction buckets, or 
a combination of them. The WTGs, offshore substations, array cables, 
and substation interconnector cables would be located on the OCS 
approximately 8.7 miles (mi) (14 kilometers (km)) from the New Jersey 
shoreline at its closest point. The offshore transmission cables would 
be buried below the seabed of both the OCS and New Jersey state waters.
    If any reasonable alternatives are identified during the scoping 
period, BOEM will evaluate those alternatives in the draft EIS, which 
will also include a no action alternative. Under the no action 
alternative, BOEM would disapprove the COP and the Atlantic Shores' 
Projects described in the COP would not be built in the Lease Area.
    After BOEM completes the EIS, BOEM will decide whether to approve, 
approve with modification, or disapprove the Atlantic Shores COP. If 
BOEM approves the COP and the Projects are constructed, the lessee must 
submit a plan to decommission the Projects before the end of the lease 
term.

Summary of Expected Impacts

    The draft EIS will identify and describe the effects of the 
Proposed Action and the alternatives on the human environment that are 
reasonably foreseeable and have a reasonably close causal relationship 
to the Proposed Action and alternatives. This includes such effects 
that occur at the same time and place as the Proposed Action and 
alternatives and such effects that are later in time or not at the same 
place. Expected impacts include, but are not limited to, impacts (both 
beneficial and adverse) on air quality, water quality, bats, benthic 
habitat, essential fish habitat, invertebrates, finfish, birds, marine 
mammals, terrestrial and coastal habitats and fauna, sea turtles, 
wetlands and other waters of the United States, commercial fisheries 
and for-hire recreational fishing, cultural resources, demographics, 
employment, economics, environmental justice, land use and coastal 
infrastructure, navigation and vessel traffic, other marine uses, 
recreation and tourism, and visual resources. The effects of these 
expected impacts will be analyzed in the draft and final EIS.
    Based on a preliminary evaluation of these resources, BOEM expects 
impacts on sea turtles and marine mammals from underwater noise caused 
by construction and from collisions with vessel traffic associated with 
the Projects. Structures installed for the Projects could permanently 
change benthic habitat and other fish habitat. Commercial fisheries and 
for-hire recreational fishing could be impacted. The Projects' 
structures above the water could affect the visual character defining 
historic properties and recreational and tourism areas. The Projects' 
structures also would pose an allision and height hazard to vessels 
passing close by, and vessels would in turn pose a hazard to the 
structures. Additionally, the Projects could adversely impact mineral 
extraction, military use, air traffic, land-based radar services, 
cables and pipelines, and scientific surveys. Beneficial impacts are 
also expected by facilitating achievement of State renewable energy 
goals, increasing job opportunities, improving air quality, and 
reducing carbon emissions. The EIS will analyze measures that would 
avoid, minimize, or mitigate environmental effects.

Anticipated Permits and Authorizations

    In addition to the requested COP approval, various other Federal, 
State, and local authorizations will be required for the Projects. 
These include authorizations under the Endangered Species Act, 
Magnuson[hyphen]Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, MMPA, 
NHPA, RHA, CWA, Coastal Zone Management Act, and other laws and 
regulations determined to be applicable to the Projects. BOEM will also 
conduct government-to-government Tribal consultations. For a full 
listing of regulatory requirements applicable to the Projects, please 
see the COP, volume I, available at https://www.boem.gov/atlantic-shores.
    BOEM has chosen to use the NEPA substitution process to fulfill its 
obligations under NHPA. While BOEM's obligations under NHPA and NEPA 
are independent, the regulations implementing NHPA allow for the use of 
NEPA review to substitute for various aspects of NHPA's section 106 (54 
U.S.C. 306108) review to improve efficiency, promote transparency and 
accountability, and support a broadened discussion of potential effects 
that a project could have on the human environment. As provided in 36 
CFR 800.8(c), the NEPA process and documentation required for the 
preparation of an EIS and record of decision (ROD) can be used to 
fulfill a lead Federal agency's NHPA section 106 review obligations in 
lieu of the procedures set forth in 36 CFR 800.3 through 800.6. During 
preparation of the EIS, BOEM will ensure that the NEPA substitution 
process will meet its NHPA obligations necessary to successfully use 
this alternative process.

[[Page 54234]]

Schedule for the Decision-Making Process

    After the draft EIS is completed, BOEM will publish a notice of 
availability (NOA) and request public comments on the draft EIS. BOEM 
expects to issue the NOA in November 2022. After the public comment 
period ends, BOEM will review and respond to comments received and will 
develop the final EIS. BOEM expects to make the final EIS available to 
the public in August 2023. A ROD will be completed no sooner than 30 
days after the final EIS is released, in accordance with 40 CFR 
1506.11.
    This COP is a ``covered project'' under section 41 of the Fixing 
America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41). FAST-41 provides 
increased transparency and predictability by requiring Federal agencies 
to publish comprehensive permitting timetables for all covered 
projects. FAST-41 also provides procedures for modifying permitting 
timetables to address the unpredictability inherent in the 
environmental review and permitting process for significant 
infrastructure projects. To view the FAST-41 Permitting Dashboard for 
the Projects, visit: https://www.permits.performance.gov/permitting-project/atlantic-shores-project-1.

Scoping Process

    This NOI commences the public scoping process to identify issues 
and potential alternatives for consideration in the Atlantic Shores 
EIS. Throughout the scoping process, Federal agencies; Tribal, State, 
and local governments; and the general public have the opportunity to 
help BOEM determine significant resources and issues, impact-producing 
factors, reasonable alternatives (e.g., size, geographic, seasonal, or 
other restrictions on construction and siting of facilities and 
activities), and potential mitigation measures to be analyzed in the 
EIS, as well as to provide additional information. In the interests of 
efficiency, completeness, and facilitating public involvement, BOEM 
will use the NEPA process to fulfill public involvement requirements 
established in 36 CFR 800.2(d).
    BOEM will hold virtual public scoping meetings for the Atlantic 
Shores EIS at the following dates and times (eastern time):
     Tuesday, October 19, 5:00 p.m.;
     Thursday, October 21, 1:00 p.m.; and
     Monday, October 25, 5:00 p.m.
    Registration for the virtual public meetings may be completed here: 
https://www.boem.gov/atlantic-shores-Scoping-Virtual-Meetings.

NEPA Cooperating Agencies

    BOEM invites other Federal agencies, Tribes, and State and local 
governments to consider becoming cooperating agencies in the 
preparation of this EIS. The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) 
NEPA regulations specify that qualified agencies and governments are 
those with ``jurisdiction by law or special expertise.'' Potential 
cooperating agencies should consider their authority and capacity to 
assume the responsibilities of a cooperating agency and should be aware 
that an agency's role in the environmental analysis neither enlarges 
nor diminishes the final decision-making authority of any other agency 
involved in the NEPA process.
    Upon request, BOEM will provide potential cooperating agencies with 
a written summary of expectations for cooperating agencies, including 
schedules, milestones, responsibilities, scope and details of 
cooperating agencies' contributions, and availability of pre-decisional 
information. BOEM anticipates this summary will form the basis for a 
memorandum of agreement between BOEM and any non-Department of the 
Interior cooperating agency. Agencies also should consider the factors 
for determining cooperating agency status in CEQ's memorandum titled 
``Cooperating Agencies in Implementing the Procedural Requirements of 
the National Environmental Policy Act'' of January 30, 2002. This 
document is available on the internet at: https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/nepapub/nepa_documents/RedDont/G-CEQ-CoopAgenciesImplem.pdf.
    BOEM, as the lead agency, does not provide financial assistance to 
cooperating agencies. Even if a governmental entity is not a 
cooperating agency, it will have opportunities to provide information 
and comments to BOEM during the public input stages of the NEPA 
process.

NHPA Consulting Parties

    Certain individuals and organizations with a demonstrated interest 
in the Projects can request to participate as NHPA consulting parties 
under 36 CFR 800.2(c)(5) based on their legal or economic stake in, or 
concern for, historic properties affected by the Projects. Before 
issuing this NOI, BOEM compiled a list of potential consulting parties 
and invited them to become consulting parties. To become a consulting 
party, those invited must respond in writing, preferably by the 
requested response date.
    Interested individuals or organizations that did not receive a 
written invitation can request to be consulting parties by writing to 
the appropriate staff at ICF International, Inc., which is supporting 
BOEM in its administration of this review. ICF's contact for this 
review is Neil Sullivan. He can be reached at 9300 Lee Highway, 
Fairfax, VA 22031 or [email protected]. BOEM will 
determine which interested parties should be consulting parties.

Comments

    Federal agencies; Tribal, State, and local governments; and other 
interested parties are requested to comment on the scope of this EIS, 
significant issues that should be addressed, and alternatives that 
should be considered. For information on how to submit comments, see 
the ADDRESSES section above.
    BOEM does not consider anonymous comments. Please include your name 
and address as part of your comment. BOEM makes all comments, including 
the names, addresses, and other personally identifiable information 
included in the comment, available for public review online. 
Individuals can request that BOEM withhold their names, addresses, or 
other personally identifiable information included in their comment 
from the public record; however, BOEM cannot guarantee that it will be 
able to do so. To help BOEM determine whether to withhold from 
disclosure your personally identifiable information, you must identify 
any information contained in your comments that, if released, would 
constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of your privacy. You also 
must briefly describe any possible harmful consequences of the 
disclosure of information, such as embarrassment, injury, or other 
harm.
    Additionally, under section 304 of NHPA, BOEM is required, after 
consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, to withhold the 
location, character, or ownership of historic resources if it 
determines that disclosure may, among other things, cause a significant 
invasion of privacy, risk harm to the historic resources, or impede the 
use of a traditional religious site by practitioners. Tribal entities 
and other parties providing information on historic resources should 
designate information that they wish to be held as confidential and 
provide the reasons why BOEM should do so.
    All submissions from organizations or businesses and from 
individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of

[[Page 54235]]

organizations or businesses will be made available for public 
inspection in their entirety.

Request for Identification of Potential Alternatives, Information, and 
Analyses Relevant to the Proposed Action

    BOEM requests data, comments, views, information, analyses, 
alternatives, or suggestions on the Proposed Action from the public; 
affected Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments, agencies, and 
offices; the scientific community; industry; or any other interested 
party. Specifically, BOEM requests information on the following topics:
    1. Potential effects that the Proposed Action could have on 
biological resources, including bats, birds, coastal fauna, finfish, 
invertebrates, essential fish habitat, marine mammals, and sea turtles.
    2. Potential effects that the Proposed Action could have on 
physical resources, including air quality, water quality, and wetlands 
and other waters of the United States.
    3. Potential effects that the Proposed Action could have on 
socioeconomic and cultural resources, including commercial fisheries 
and for-hire recreational fishing, demographics, employment, economics, 
environmental justice, land use and coastal infrastructure, navigation 
and vessel traffic, other uses (marine minerals, military use, 
aviation), recreation and tourism, and scenic and visual resources.
    4. Other possible reasonable alternatives to the Proposed Action 
that BOEM should consider, including additional or alternative 
avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures.
    5. As part of its compliance with NHPA section 106 (54 U.S.C. 
306108) and its implementing regulations (36 CFR part 800), BOEM seeks 
public comment and input regarding the identification of historic 
properties within the Proposed Action's area of potential effects and 
the potential effects on those historic properties from the activities 
proposed in the COP. BOEM requests feedback from the public and 
consulting parties on the aforementioned information and any 
information that supports identification of historic properties under 
the NHPA. BOEM also solicits proposed measures to avoid, minimize, or 
mitigate any adverse effects on historic properties. BOEM will present 
available information regarding known historic properties during the 
public scoping period at https://www.boem.gov/atlantic-shores. BOEM's 
effects analysis for historic properties will be available for public 
and consulting party comment in the draft EIS.
    6. Information on other current or planned activities in, or in the 
vicinity of, the Proposed Action, their possible impacts on the 
Projects, and the Project's possible impacts on those activities.
    7. Other information relevant to the Proposed Action and its 
impacts on the human environment.
    To promote informed decision-making, comments should be as specific 
as possible and should provide as much detail as necessary to 
meaningfully participate and fully inform BOEM of the commenter's 
position. Comments should explain why the issues raised are important 
to the consideration of potential environmental impacts and 
alternatives to the Proposed Action as well as economic, employment, 
and other impacts affecting the quality of the human environment.
    The draft EIS will include a summary that identifies all 
alternatives, information, and analyses submitted by Federal agencies, 
Tribal, State, and local governments, and other public commenters 
during the scoping process for consideration by BOEM, cooperating 
agencies, and the consulting parties.
    Authority: This NOI is published pursuant to NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 
et seq., and implementing regulations at 40 CFR 1501.9.

William Yancey Brown,
Chief Environmental Officer, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
[FR Doc. 2021-21300 Filed 9-29-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P