House Committee Agrees to Harris Language Concerning MD Offshore Wind
WASHINGTON, DC: On June 6, the House Committee on Appropriations passed the FY19 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01) authored, and the committee agreed to, language addressing the proposed offshore wind turbines planned off the coast of Ocean City, MD. Congressman Harris released the following statement after the markup:
“When granting initial approval of offshore wind turbines along Maryland’s coast, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) irresponsibly and consistently ignored the concerns of the National Park Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, and most importantly, the people of Ocean City. The language I authored in the Interior Appropriations bill urges BOEM to work with other federal agencies, the State of Maryland, and the people of Ocean City to come to a consensus on the wind turbines’ height and distance from the shore prior to their approval of any construction and operations plan (COP).
These wind turbines, standing at 643 feet with red lights atop each tower in the latest proposal, would be visible from the beaches of Ocean City and Assateague Island National Seashore. The wind turbines, as currently proposed, will reduce property values, jeopardize the safety of maritime travel, and pose a threat to Ocean City’s commercial fishing and tourism industries. BOEM is obligated to work with the State of Maryland, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard on this project, and these issues must be resolved before any wind turbines are built off Maryland’s coast. If these proposed 86 wind turbines will negatively impact the local communities, maritime safety, marine life, or economy of the region, the proposal must be changed to protect all affected stakeholders.”