For the first time since 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is proposing to modernize rules promulgated by its predecessor, the Minerals Management Service (MMS), facilitating the development of wind energy resources on the outer continental shelf (OCS). The 93-page proposed rule, published in the Federal Register Monday, covers decommissioning, geophysical and geotechnical survey submission requirements, approval of meteorological (met) buoys, project verification procedures, and BOEM’s renewable energy auction process, among many others. A related, final rule codifies the division of responsibility between BOEM and another MMS successor, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, as set forth in a December 2020 memorandum of understanding.
On January 10, 2023, the Department of the Interior (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) signed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) regarding an update to the regulations governing the development of offshore wind energy on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in an effort to modernize the existing regulations and facilitate development to meet the U.S. climate and renewable energy objectives. The existing regulations for leasing and managing OCS renewable energy activities were promulgated by the Minerals Management Service (BOEM’s predecessor) on April 29, 2009 (as authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the OCS Lands Act).