BOEM Updates Geophysical Guidelines for Offshore Wind Projects

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has updated its Guidelines for Providing Geophysical, Geotechnical, and Geohazard Information Pursuant to 30 CFR Part 585.

The guidelines provide information for offshore renewable energy projects and were last published in May 2020. They were primarily developed for the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). However, now that BOEM has held lease sales in the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico OCS, the updated guidelines accommodate differences in anticipated geohazards and increased water depth.

The text was also updated to reflect likely changes to regulations if the Modernization Rule is finalized. Additionally, changes have been made to reduce redundancy and provide more context for a recommended phased approach to data collection.

The updated guidelines include several key changes, including:

Site Investigations: This section combines information previously in an associated appendix and describes three recommended sequential phases: site reconnaissance, suitability assessment and site-specific design. Clarification has been added to distinguish that site investigations pertain to data collected. Site characterization refers to analysis and interpretation of data.

High-Resolution Geophysical Survey: This section has been modified to align with the phased approach described in the Site Investigations section. It includes recommendations for survey coverage, data acquisition instrumentation, and data resolution based on the survey purpose and water depths exceeding 50 meters.

Categories: Geoscience Geophysics Offshore Wind

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