BSEE - Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

01/25/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/25/2023 10:26

BSEE Leaders Tour First Offshore Wind Turbines in Federal Waters

NORFOLK, Va. - In recognition of the bureau's expanded role and authorities for offshore renewable energy oversight, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director Kevin Sligh traveled to Norfolk, Virginia, this week for a tour and briefing of the first offshore wind project installed in federal waters. Paul Huang, Deputy Director for BSEE, and Cheri Hunter, Renewable Energy Operations Lead for BSEE, accompanied Director Sligh.

On Jan. 23, the BSEE leaders toured Dominion Energy's Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project (CVOW), a two-turbine pilot project located in U.S. federal waters on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore Norfolk, and the first offshore wind project in operation under BSEE jurisdiction. BSEE is currently reviewing the construction and operations plan and accompanying Environmental Impact Statement for the commercial-scale project, a proposal to install up to 205 turbines that would generate up to 3 gigawatts of electricity.

"The transfer of offshore wind safety and environmental responsibilities to BSEE, finalized by the Department of the Interior last week, provides regulatory clarity and signals a commitment to maintaining high standards for worker safety and environmental compliance," said Director Sligh. "Every decision and every action must be taken with the safety of workers and protection of the environment in mind."

Following the tour and a status briefing provided by Dominion executives, Director Sligh and the BSEE leaders emphasized their commitment to continued collaboration with industry partners and to providing transparency and consistency in regulating offshore renewable energy activities.

On Jan. 17, 2023, the Department of the Interior officially transitioned authority for safety and environmental compliance functions related to offshore renewable energy development to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.