On July 27, 2011, the Coast Guard and Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that outlines the roles and responsibilities of each agency with respect to offshore renewable energy installations (OREIs) on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
As stated in the MOA, the Coast Guard is a cooperating agency under the National Environmental Policy Act. BOEM is the Federal agency responsible for overseeing the safe and environmentally responsible development of energy and mineral resources on the OCS. As such, the role of the Coast Guard is limited to providing the lead permitting agency with an evaluation of the potential impacts of a proposed facility on the safety of navigation and the traditional uses of the particular waterway and other Coast Guard missions in order for BOEM (or other lead permitting agencies) to prepare their Environmental Impact Statement.
The Coast Guard’s primary role is to assess the navigational impacts of a proposed OREI facility and forward such considerations on to the lead permitting agency. The Coast Guard does not approve or disapprove an OREI application.