As part of a federal review process, Delaware’s environmental agency is soliciting public comment related to in-water activities for an offshore wind support marine terminal facility on Artificial Island in New Jersey.
It’s called the New Jersey Wind Port, and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority introduced the project in June. If constructed, the terminal would be used as a marshaling and manufacturing port for offshore wind projects in the Mid-Atlantic region. The 200-acre port will be the first such facility built for offshore wind on the East Coast.
The proposed location is immediately north of the Hope Creek Generating Station, a nuclear power plant, on Artificial Island in Salem County, New Jersey. Immediately across the river is Augustine Wildlife Area, which is due east of Middletown.
According to a public notice issued Sept. 2, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Delaware Coastal Management Program is reviewing in-water activities related to this project. Those activities include dredging 1.96 million cubic yards of material within an 86-acre footprint, filling 68,400 cubic yards, and the construction of the berthing areas waterward of the bulkhead line.
According to the project’s official website, Phase 1 construction is slated for 2021, with completion by 2023. This phase includes dredging the river, constructing a heavy-lift wharf, developing roughly 55 acres for component assembly and manufacturing, and building a heavy-haul transportation corridor. Phase 2 will develop the remaining 150 acres and is slated for construction beginning in 2023.
In an email Sept. 10, Michael Globetti, DNREC spokesperson, said Delaware has authority through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s interstate consistency procedures to review the project. He said these reviews are used in instances where a federal action occurring in one state could potentially affect the coastal uses or resources of another state’s coastal management area.
Globetti said the review is necessary since these activities could have effects on the uses or resources of Delaware’s coastal management area. At this point, he said, the coastal management program is actively reviewing the project. No final determinations or assessments have been made, he said.
The state line dividing Delaware and New Jersey is in the Delaware River. Globetti said the dredging for the project will extend approximately 5,000 feet into the river from Artificial Island. At its farthest extent, he said, the distance to the state line is less than 500 feet and approximately 1.7 miles to the Augustine Wildlife Area, which is due east of Middletown.
Comments concerning the federal consistency certification for this project are due by Thursday, Oct. 1. Comments may be sent to Delaware Coastal Programs, Kimberly Cole, Administrator, 100 W. Water St., Suite 7B, Dover, DE 19904, or by email to DNREC_DCP_PublicComment@state.de.us. For more information, call 302-739-9283.