There have been calls from Republican lawmakers for a suspension of offshore wind projects in New Jersey after eight dolphins died on a beach in the state on Tuesday.
“While the DEP claims there is no link between wind farms and damage to marine life, the logical thing to do would be to pause all offshore wind projects until we have more data,” Senator Michael Testa said in a statement.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said earlier this month that it “is aware of no credible evidence that offshore wind-related survey activities could cause whale mortality” and that it will continue to monitor the situation. The DEP explained it has been monitoring an unusual humpback whale mortality event impacting Atlantic coast states since January 2016. In January 2023, it started receiving concerns that wind development offshore New Jersey is the reason for whale deaths. Currently, there are only offshore wind survey activities and no construction activities in New Jersey.
In 2022, New Jersey set a goal of deploying 11 GW of offshore wind energy generation by 2040. Some two weeks ago the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) launched the state’s third offshore wind solicitation, seeking to award between 1.2 GW and 4 GW of capacity.
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