Energy Updates

ACOP Helps Retain Lawyers to Oppose Virginia offshore Wind Project

American Coalition for Ocean Protection assists with funding lawsuits along the Atlantic coast

By David T. Stevenson, Director

Center for Energy & Environmental Policy

September 28, 2022



The American Coalition for Ocean Protection (ACOP) has partnered with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and the Heartland Institute to retain legal representation in preparing public comments regarding the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project.


The project has been proposed by Virginia public utility Dominion Energy and requires approval from the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). BOEM is expected to publish a draft "Environmental Impact Statement " (EIS) by year-end.


ACOP consists of beach communities and public policy think tanks from North Carolina to Maine and out to the Great Lakes. Over twenty wind projects have been proposed in lease areas off the east coast and the Great Lakes. BOEM has been approving projects at an accelerating pace. The approvals have been questionable. 



Federal project approvals are needed for development projects on federal lands. Environmental groups have been suing to stop oil and gas drilling, pipeline construction, and mining operations, often over minor issues.


Alternatively, what we see on offshore wind projects is BOEM ignoring major violations of core environmental protections. For example:


  • Expected abandonment of wind lease areas by commercial fishing companies and a change in ocean views from natural and undeveloped to unavoidable developed views that dominate the horizon are direct violations of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which requires the protection of historic uses.


  • Construction, operational noise, and traffic are expected to potentially kill critically endangered species protected under the Endangered Species Act.


  • Vessel collisions are expected to increase, while U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue operations will be impeded. Scientific studies used to determine seafood "take" limits will also be impeded, all violating the National Environmental Policy Act.


BOEM has been ignoring public comments on these important issues leaving legal action as the only recourse. However, participation in such public comments is required to have standing to bring a lawsuit.


CLICK HERE to read CFACT's full Press Release.


# # #




The American Coalition for Ocean Protection (ACOP) is a project of the Caesar Rodney Institute (CRI). CRI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, nonpartisan, public policy research organization in Delaware.


CRI hosts the Ocean Environment Legal Defense FundAn independent advisory committee determines what legal actions will be funded.