2173 112th CONGRESS
H. R. 2173
To facilitate the development of offshore wind
energy resources.IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mr. WITTMAN (for himself, Mr. HASTINGS of Washington,
Mr. LAMBORN, Mr. BROUN of Georgia, and Mr. DUNCAN of Tennessee) introduced the
following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources
To facilitate the development of offshore wind energy
Be it enacted by the Senate and House
of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited at the `Advancing Offshore
Wind Production Act'.
SEC. 2. OFFSHORE METEOROLOGICAL SITE TESTING
AND MONITORING PROJECTS.
(a) Definition of an Offshore Meteorological
Site Testing and Monitoring Project- In this section, the term `offshore meteorological
site testing and monitoring project' means a project carried out on or in the
waters of the Outer Continental Shelf administered by the Department of the Interior
to test or monitor weather (including wind, tidal, current, and solar energy)
using towers, buoys, or other temporary ocean infrastructure, that--
(A) less than 1 acre of surface or seafloor
disruption at the location of each meteorological tower or other device; and
(B) not more than 5 acres of surface or seafloor disruption within the proposed
area affected by for the project (including hazards to navigation);
(2) is decommissioned not more than 5 years after the date of commencement of
the project, including--
(A) removal of towers, buoys,
or other temporary ocean infrastructure from the project site; and
(B) restoration of the project site to approximately the original condition of
the site; and
(3) provides meteorological information
obtained by the project to the Secretary of the Interior.
(b) Offshore Meteorological Project Permitting-
(1) IN GENERAL-
The Secretary of the Interior shall by regulation require that any applicant seeking
to conduct an offshore meteorological site testing and monitoring project on the
outer Continental Shelf (as that term is defined in the Outer Continental Shelf
Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.)) must obtain a permit for the project in accordance
with this subsection.
(2) PERMIT TIMELINE AND CONDITIONS-
(A) DEADLINE FOR APPROVAL- The Secretary shall decide whether to issue a permit
for an offshore meteorological site testing and monitoring project within 30 days
after receiving an application for the permit.
(B) PUBLIC COMMENT AND CONSULTATION- During the period referred to in subparagraph
(A), the Secretary shall--
(i) provide an
opportunity for submission of comments by the public; and
(ii) consult with the Secretary of Defense, the Commandant of the Coast Guard,
and the heads of other Federal, State, and local agencies that would be affected
by issuance of the permit.
(C) DENIAL OF
PERMIT; OPPORTUNITY TO REMEDY DEFICIENCIES- If the application is denied, the
Secretary shall provide the applicant--
(i) in writing, clear and comprehensive reasons why the application was not approved
and detailed information concerning any deficiencies in the application; and
(ii) an opportunity to remedy such deficiencies.
(c) NEPA Exclusion- Section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act
of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) shall not apply with respect to an offshore meteorological
site testing and monitoring project.
(d) Protection of Information-
The information provided to the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to subsection
(a)(3) shall be treated by the Secretary as proprietary information and protected