Scallop and fishing groups have filed a lawsuit challenging the forthcoming auction for an offshore wind lease off New York.
The suit is seeking a preliminary injunction to delay the lease sale, the Fisheries Survival Fund (FSF), which is the lead plaintiff, said on Thursday.
The auction by the US Department of the Interior (DoI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) of a 79,350-acre (32,110 ha) area for offshore wind development about 11 miles (17.7 km) off the coast of Long Island is planned for December 15. Fourteen companies, including the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), have been found to be legally, technically and financially qualified to participate.
Other fishing organisations, fishing businesses and fishing communities have joined the lawsuit. They argue that fishermen's concerns about the location of the lease site got "virtually no attention or analysis" from government officials ahead of the planned auction. The plaintiffs also say that BOEM failed to identify the environmental, economic, social and cultural impacts of the proposed wind farm and did not consider alternative locations in an open, public manner.
The legal action is against Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, BOEM and BOEM director Abigail Hopper.
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