USA: Block Island Wind Farm Receives First Major Project Permits

Deepwater Wind’s proposal to build a five-turbine wind farm in waters off Block Island has received its first permits.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) issued Deepwater Wind Water Quality Certificates, deeming the Block Island Wind Farm and Transmission System in compliance with state water quality regulations and the Clean Water Act.

These regulations ensure the protection of fish and wildlife, as well as the recreational use and navigation of Rhode Island inland and coastal waters. In addition, RIDEM issued the project a Freshwater Wetland permit for certain onshore construction activities.

The approval of RIDEM is a major step forward for the Block Island Wind Farm. Momentum for the project is strong and we are moving closer to having ‘steel in the water,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski. “We appreciate RIDEM’s thoughtful consideration of this project, and we’re confident that we’ll soon secure the remaining state and federal permits. We are proud to be leading the growth of this new American industry here in Rhode Island.”

Deepwater Wind must next secure an assent from the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, as well as approvals from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Each permit application has undergone extensive review and public comment. Deepwater Wind expects to secure all remaining permits this spring.

The RIDEM issued Water Quality Certificates for the Block Island Wind Farm and the Block Island Transmission System. The approval comes as part of the requirements of Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act, which requires the State of Rhode Island to certify projects such as dredging, filling, water withdrawals, and site disturbances.

Press Release, May 12, 2014

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