March 12, 2024

Wyden, Merkley, Hoyle Press Feds to Extend Comment Period for Wind Energy off Oregon Coast

Washington, DC -- U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley along with U.S. Rep. Val Hoyle today asked federal officials to extend the initial comment period for the development of environmental assessment of leasing activities in the Coos Bay Wind Energy Area and the Brookings Wind Energy Area off the south Oregon Coast.

The three Oregon lawmakers wrote in their letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) that the potential impacts from the two wind energy areas warrant additional public engagement beyond the 30 days ending March 15 following the agency’s notice last month to prepare environmental assessments of both.

“Tribes, the fishing community, and others throughout Oregon’s coastal communities are currently working to develop comments that will inform the Environmental Assessment for the Wind Energy Areas, including impacts to the ocean ecosystem, environment, fisheries, view sheds, and other important resources,” they wrote BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “We request an extension of the comment period to allow for robust comments that will set the most complete stage for future analysis. We believe that an extension will serve the Tribes, coastal and fishing communities, and ultimately BOEM by allowing ample time to prepare meaningful scoping comments.”

They also thanked Klein in their letter for extending the comment period before the Feb. 13 BOEM decision – as they had requested last year -- to allow Oregon coastal communities more time to submit comments and concerns. 

“We stand ready to support all efforts for significant public involvement as BOEM navigates the opportunity for wind development off the coast and the implications it might have for Oregon communities,” the three lawmakers wrote.