BOEM issues final EA for possible Gulf of Mexico wind lease sale

June 2, 2023
Environmental assessment finds ‘no significant impacts.’

Offshore staff

WASHINGTON, DC – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has issued a final environmental assessment (EA) on potential impacts from offshore wind leasing on the US Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico, a key milestone towards the potential first-ever offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf.

Based on the analysis in the EA, BOEM has issued a finding of no significant impacts to environmental resources.  

As background, on Oct. 31, 2022, BOEM announced two Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) offshore Texas and Louisiana that total about 682,000 acres – a subset of the 30-million-acre Call Area announced in November 2021. The WEAs represent offshore areas that appear to be the most suitable for wind energy development.

On Feb. 22, 2023, BOEM announced its proposal for the first offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico for areas within the WEAs.

If BOEM decides to proceed with the sale, the bureau will publish a Final Sale Notice at least 30 days ahead of the sale, which will announce the time and date of the lease sale and the companies qualified to participate in it. 

For any proposed offshore wind projects, BOEM says that it will develop environmental impact statements to analyze the specific environmental consequences of the projects before deciding whether to approve them.