H. R. 2173
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 14, 2011
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 resources.
This Act may be cited at the
Advancing Offshore Wind Production
Offshore meteorological site testing and monitoring projects
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—
less than 1 acre of surface or seafloor disruption at the location of each meteorological tower or other device; and
not more than 5 acres of surface or seafloor disruption within the proposed area affected by for the project (including hazards to navigation);
is decommissioned not more than 5 years after the date of commencement of the project, including—
removal of towers, buoys, or other temporary ocean infrastructure from the project site; and
restoration of the project site to approximately the original condition of the site; and
provides meteorological information obtained by the project to the Secretary of the Interior.
Offshore meteorological project permitting
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.
Permit timeline and conditions
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.
Public comment and consultation
During the period referred to in subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall—
provide an opportunity for submission of comments by the public; and
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.
Denial of permit; opportunity to remedy deficiencies
If the application is denied, the Secretary shall provide the applicant—
in writing, clear and comprehensive reasons why the application was not approved and detailed information concerning any deficiencies in the application; and
an opportunity to remedy such deficiencies.
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.
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 against disclosure.