Incidental Take Authorization: Ørsted Wind Power North America, LLC Site Characterization Survey off New York to Massachusetts
NOAA Fisheries received a request from Ørsted Wind Power North America, LLC, (Ørsted) for the renewal of their 2020 IHA to take marine mammals incidental marine site characterization surveys, including high-resolution geophysical (HRG) surveys, in coastal waters from New York to Massachusetts in certain areas of the Commercial Lease of Submerged Lands for Renewable Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). These areas are identified as OCS-A 0486/0517, OCS-A 0487, and OCS-A 0500 (collectively referred to herein as the Lease Area). Ørsted is also planning to conduct marine site characterization surveys along one or more potential submarine export cable routes (ECRs) originating from the Lease Area and landing along the shore at locations from New York to Massachusetts, between Raritan Bay (part of the New York Bight) to Falmouth, Massachusetts. The activities for which Ørsted has requested a Renewal IHA are identical to those covered under the initial IHA, which expired on September 24, 2021. Prior to issuing the initial IHA in 2020, NOAA Fisheries requested comments on both the proposed IHA and the potential for renewing the initial authorization if certain requirements were satisfied. The renewal requirements have been satisfied. If issued, the renewal would be effective through September 24, 2022.
NOAA Fisheries has issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to Ørsted Wind Power North America, LLC, (Ørsted) to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, marine mammals during marine site characterization surveys in coastal waters from New York to Massachusetts in the areas of the Commercial Lease of Submerged Lands for Renewable Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS-A 0486/0517, OCS-A 0487, and OCS-A 0500) and along potential export cable routes to shoreline locations from New York to Massachusetts.