[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 240 (Thursday, December 13, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 74204-74213]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-30093]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

[Docket No. BOEM-2012-0088]


Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf 
Offshore North Carolina--Call for Information and Nominations (Call)

AGENCY: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Interior.

ACTION: Call for Information and Nominations for Commercial Leasing for 
Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf, Offshore North Carolina.

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SUMMARY: BOEM invites the submission of nominations for commercial wind 
leases that would allow a lessee to propose the construction of a wind 
energy project on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore North 
Carolina, and to develop the project if approved after further 
environmental review. Although this announcement is not itself a 
leasing announcement, the Call Areas described herein, or portions 
thereof, may be available for future leasing. BOEM will use responses 
to this Call to gauge specific interest in acquiring commercial wind 
leases in some or all of the Call Areas, as required by 43 U.S.C. 
1337(p)(3).
    Parties wishing to submit a nomination in response to this Call 
should submit detailed and specific information in response to the 
requirements described in the section entitled, ``Required Nomination 
Information.''
    This announcement also requests comments and information from 
interested and affected parties about site conditions, resources, and 
multiple uses in close proximity to, or within, the Call Areas that 
would be relevant to BOEM's review of any nominations submitted and/or 
to BOEM's subsequent decision to offer all or part of the Call Areas 
for commercial wind leasing. The information that BOEM is requesting is 
described in the section of this Call entitled, ``Requested Information 
from Interested or Affected Parties.''
    This Call is published pursuant to subsection 8(p)(3) of the OCS 
Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. 1337(p)(3), which was added by section 388 of the 
Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), as well as the implementing 
regulations at 30 CFR part 585.
    The Call Areas described in this notice are located on the OCS 
offshore North Carolina and are delineated as Wilmington-West, 
Wilmington-East and Kitty Hawk (formerly referred to as North Carolina 
Planning Areas 1, 2, and 5, respectively, during BOEM's North Carolina 
offshore wind planning efforts). The three Call Areas include 195 whole 
OCS blocks and 60 partial blocks in total and comprise approximately 
1,441 square nautical miles (494,016 hectares). These Call Areas were 
established in consultation with the BOEM North Carolina Renewable 
Energy Intergovernmental Task Force (Task Force). A detailed 
description of the areas and how they were developed is described in 
the section of this Call entitled, ``Description of the Area.''

DATES: BOEM must receive your nomination describing your interest in 
one or more, or any portion of the Call Areas, postmarked by January 
28, 2013 for your nomination to be considered. BOEM requests comments 
or submissions of information to be

[[Page 74205]]

postmarked or delivered by this same date. BOEM will consider only 
those nominations received that conform to this requirement.
    Submission Procedures: If you are submitting a nomination for a 
lease in response to this Call, please submit your nomination to the 
following address: BOEM, Office of Renewable Energy Programs, 381 Elden 
Street, HM 1328, Herndon, Virginia 20170. In addition to a paper copy 
of the nomination, include an electronic copy of the nomination on a 
data storage device. BOEM will list the parties that submitted 
nominations and the location of the proposed lease areas (i.e., OCS 
blocks nominated) on the BOEM Web site after the 45-day comment period 
has closed.
    Comments and other submissions of information may be submitted by 
either of the following two methods:
    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the 
entry entitled ``Enter Keyword or ID,'' enter BOEM-2012-0088, and then 
click ``search.'' Follow the instructions to submit public comments and 
view supporting and related materials available for this notice.
    2. U.S. Postal Service or other delivery service. Send your 
comments and information to the following address: Bureau of Ocean 
Energy Management, Office of Renewable Energy Programs, 381 Elden 
Street, HM 1328, Herndon, Virginia 20170.
    All responses will be reported on http://www.regulations.gov.
    If you wish to protect the confidentiality of your nominations or 
comments, clearly mark the relevant sections and request that BOEM 
treat them as confidential. Please label privileged or confidential 
information ``Contains Confidential Information'' and consider 
submitting such information as a separate attachment. Treatment of 
confidential information is addressed in the section of this Call 
entitled, ``Protection of Privileged or Confidential Information.'' 
Information that is not labeled as privileged or confidential will be 
regarded by BOEM as suitable for public release.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Will Waskes, Oceanographer, BOEM, 
Office of Renewable Energy Programs, 381 Elden Street, HM 1328, 
Herndon, Virginia 20170, (703) 787-1320 or Will.Waskes@boem.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Purpose of the Call for Information and Nominations

    The OCS Lands Act requires BOEM to award leases competitively, 
unless BOEM makes a determination that there is no competitive interest 
(43 U.S.C. 1337(p)(3)). BOEM will make this determination after 
reviewing the nominations received in response to this Call.
    This Call also requests information from interested and affected 
parties on issues relevant to BOEM's review of nominations for 
potential leases in the Call Areas. A lease, whether issued through a 
competitive or noncompetitive process, gives the lessee the exclusive 
right to subsequently seek BOEM approval for the development of the 
leasehold. The lease does not grant the lessee the right to construct 
any facilities; rather, the lease grants the lessee the right to use 
the leased area to develop its plans, which BOEM must approve before 
the lessee may proceed to the next stage of the process (30 CFR 585.600 
and 585.601). The responses to this Call could lead to the initiation 
of a competitive leasing process in some parts of the Call Areas (i.e., 
where competition exists for certain tracts), and a noncompetitive 
process in other parts of the Call Areas (i.e., where no competitive 
interest exists for certain tracts). The leasing process is described 
more completely under the ``Determination of Competitive Interest'' and 
``Noncompetitive Leasing Process'' sections of this Call. In any parts 
of the Call Areas where BOEM determines there is no competitive 
interest, BOEM may proceed with the noncompetitive lease process 
pursuant to 30 CFR 585.232. If BOEM determines that there is 
competitive interest in some or all of the Call Areas, then BOEM may 
proceed with Area Identification, as set forth in 30 CFR 585.211(b), 
and the competitive leasing process set forth under 30 CFR 585.211 
through 585.225. Whether the leasing process is competitive or 
noncompetitive, it will include additional opportunities for the public 
to provide input, and any proposed actions will be reviewed thoroughly 
for potential environmental and multiple use impacts. The area(s) that 
may be finally offered for lease, if any, has/have not yet been 
determined, and may include less than the total areal extent of the 
Call Areas as identified in this Call.

Background

Energy Policy Act of 2005

    The EPAct amended the OCS Lands Act by adding subsection 
8(p)(1)(C), which authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to grant 
leases, easements, or rights-of-way (ROWs) on the OCS for activities 
that are not otherwise authorized by law and that produce or support 
production, transportation, or transmission of energy from sources 
other than oil or gas, including renewable energy sources. The EPAct 
also required the issuance of regulations to carry out the new 
authority pertaining to renewable energy on the OCS. The Secretary 
delegated this authority to issue leases, easements, and ROWs, and to 
promulgate regulations, to the Director of BOEM. On April 29, 2009, 
BOEM published the Renewable Energy and Alternate Uses (REAU) rule, at 
30 CFR Part 585, which can be found at: http://www.boem.gov/uploadedFiles/30_CFR_585.pdf.

Executive Order 13547: Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the 
Great Lakes

    On July 19, 2010, the President signed Executive Order 13547 
(Order) establishing a national ocean policy and the National Ocean 
Council (75 FR 43023). The Order establishes a comprehensive, 
integrated national policy for the stewardship of the ocean, our 
coasts, and the Great Lakes. Where BOEM actions affect the ocean or 
coast, the Order requires BOEM to take such action as necessary to 
implement the policy, stewardship principles, and national priority 
objectives adopted by the Order, with guidance from the National Ocean 
Council.
    BOEM appreciates the importance of coordinating its planning 
endeavors with other OCS users, regulators and relevant Federal 
Agencies (e.g., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park 
Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and 
intends to follow principles of coastal and marine spatial planning, 
and coordinate with the regional planning bodies as established by the 
National Ocean Council. BOEM anticipates that continued coordination 
with its Task Forces will help inform comprehensive coastal and marine 
spatial planning efforts.

BOEM North Carolina Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force

    BOEM formed the North Carolina Task Force in January 2011, to 
facilitate coordination among relevant Federal agencies and affected 
state, local, and tribal governments throughout the leasing process. 
The Task Force meeting materials are available on the BOEM Web site at: 
http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/State-Activities/North-Carolina.aspx.

Environmental Review Process

    BOEM intends to prepare an environmental assessment (EA), which 
will consider the environmental

[[Page 74206]]

consequences associated with issuing commercial wind leases and 
approving site assessment activities on those leases within all or some 
of the Call Areas. BOEM is publishing, concurrently with this Call, a 
Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EA, which seeks public input in 
identifying the environmental issues and alternatives to be considered 
in the EA.
    The EA will consider the reasonably foreseeable environmental 
consequences associated with leasing and site characterization 
scenarios within the Call Areas (including geophysical, geotechnical, 
archaeological, and biological surveys), and site assessment scenarios 
(including the installation and operation of meteorological towers and 
buoys) on the potential leaseholds. The NOI solicits input on the 
environmental effects associated only with the activities described 
above. The environmental effects of the construction or operation of 
any wind energy facility would be considered under a separate, project-
specific National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental review 
process.
    Several consultations will be conducted concurrently with, and 
integrated into, the current NEPA process. These consultations include, 
but are not limited to, those required by the Coastal Zone Management 
Act (CZMA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Section 106 of the National 
Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and Executive Order 13175--
``Consultation and Coordination with Tribal Governments.'' The results 
of these consultations will assist BOEM in deciding whether and where 
leases may be issued.

Actions Taken by the State of North Carolina in Support of Offshore 
Renewable Energy Development

    BOEM recognizes the importance of the steps that the State of North 
Carolina has taken to encourage environmentally sound offshore wind 
energy development. While a state may promote such development, BOEM 
has the exclusive authority to issue leases, easements, and ROWs on the 
OCS for renewable energy purposes.
    The State of North Carolina has been engaged in a planning process 
to evaluate and identify areas of the OCS that may be suitable for 
offshore wind energy development. This process helped inform state 
recommendations to BOEM regarding potentially suitable areas for BOEM 
to consider when moving forward with its offshore wind energy leasing 
process.
    In the summer of 2008, the North Carolina General Assembly 
requested that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill conduct 
a 9-month study to assess the feasibility of producing wind energy in 
the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds (S.L. 2008-107). Subsequently, the 
scope of the study was expanded to include waters off the North 
Carolina coast. The request specified that the assessment include an 
analysis of the spatial distributions of available wind power, 
ecological risks and synergies, use conflicts affecting site selection, 
foundation systems and their compatibility with sound- and ocean-bottom 
geology and associated geologic dynamics, electric transmission 
infrastructure, statutory and regulatory barriers associated with 
utilities, the legal context, carbon reduction potential, and 
economics. The study, entitled, Coastal Wind, Energy for North 
Carolina's Future: A Study of the Feasibility of Wind Turbines in 
Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds and in Ocean Waters Off the North Carolina 
Coast (North Carolina Wind Study), was presented to the Task Force for 
consideration and can be found at: http://www.climate.unc.edu/coastal-wind/Coastal%20Wind%20Energy%20for%20NC2019s%20Future.pdf.

BOEM's Planning and Leasing Process

Determination of Competitive Interest

    The first step in the leasing process is to determine whether or 
not there is any interest in acquiring a lease within the Call Areas. 
At the same time, BOEM can determine whether there is overlapping 
interest in any particular portion of the Call Areas that would result 
in the need for a competitive process. At the conclusion of the comment 
period for this Call, BOEM will review the nominations received, 
undertake a completeness review and a qualifications review, and 
determine whether competitive interest exists in any specific location 
within the Call Areas.
    If two nominated areas of interest fully or partially overlap, BOEM 
may proceed with competitive leasing as described in the section of 
this Call entitled, ``Competitive Leasing Process.'' For areas where 
BOEM determines that there is no competitive interest, BOEM may proceed 
with noncompetitive leasing described in the section entitled, ``Non-
Competitive Leasing Process.'' BOEM may consult with the Task Force 
throughout the leasing process.
    Situations may arise in which several parties nominate areas that 
do not overlap. Under these circumstances, BOEM could choose to employ 
an allocation system of leases that involves the creation of 
competition across tracts. This system is referred to as intertract 
competition and would also be implemented under the competitive process 
outlined in the regulations. BOEM may consult with the Task Force in 
determining the need for, and/or use of, intertract competition.
    Respondents to this Call and members of the public should be aware 
that no lease will be issued, either competitively or noncompetitively, 
until the necessary consultations and environmental analysis have been 
completed and the public has been given an opportunity to comment. As a 
result, it is possible that certain areas nominated may not be leased, 
or that the areas nominated may be modified from their original, 
proposed form before being offered for lease.

Competitive Leasing Process

    If, after receiving responses to this Call, BOEM proceeds with the 
competitive leasing process for certain areas, it would follow the 
steps required by 30 CFR 585.211 through 585.225:
    (1) Area Identification: Based on the information submitted in 
response to this Call and the NOI, BOEM would determine the level of 
interest and identify the area(s) that would be appropriate to move 
forward with in the planning and leasing process. The area(s) 
identified will constitute a Wind Energy Area (WEA) under the 
Secretary's ``Smart from the Start'' wind energy initiative and will be 
subject to environmental analysis, in consultation with appropriate 
Federal agencies, states, local governments, tribes and other 
interested parties.
    (2) Proposed Sale Notice (PSN): If BOEM decides to proceed with 
lease issuance in the Call Areas, then BOEM would first complete the 
analyses necessary to inform the preparation of the PSN, including any 
final NEPA documentation, the Consistency Determination required by the 
CZMA and its implementing regulations, and various analyses of proposed 
lease sale economic terms and conditions. BOEM would then publish the 
PSN in the Federal Register with a comment period of 60 days and send 
the PSN to the Governor of any affected state, and the executive of any 
affected local government. BOEM will also share the PSN with the Task 
Force. The PSN would describe the area(s) to be offered for leasing, 
the proposed conditions of a lease sale, and the proposed auction

[[Page 74207]]

format, lease document, and lease provisions/stipulations. 
Additionally, the PSN would describe the criteria and process for 
evaluating bids.
    (3) Final Sale Notice (FSN): If BOEM decides to proceed with lease 
issuance after considering comments on the PSN, then it would publish 
the FSN in the Federal Register at least 30 days before the date of the 
lease sale.
    (4) Bid Submission and Evaluation: Following publication of the FSN 
in the Federal Register, qualified bidders would be able to submit 
their bids to BOEM in accordance with procedures specified in the FSN. 
The bids, including any required deposits, would be reviewed for 
technical and legal adequacy. BOEM would evaluate the bids to determine 
if the bidder had complied with all applicable regulations. BOEM 
reserves the right to reject any or all bids and the right to withdraw 
an offer to lease an area, even after bids have been submitted.
    (5) Issuance of a Lease: Following the selection of a winning 
bid(s) by BOEM, the bidder(s) would be notified of the decision and 
provided a set of official lease documents for execution. The 
successful bidder(s) would be required to execute the lease, pay the 
remainder of the bonus bid, if applicable, and file the required 
financial assurance within 10 days of receiving the lease documents. 
Upon receipt of the required payments, financial assurance, and 
properly executed lease forms, BOEM would issue a lease to the 
successful bidder(s).

Noncompetitive Leasing Process

    If, after evaluating the responses to this Call, BOEM determines 
that there is no competitive interest in a proposed lease area, it may 
proceed with the noncompetitive lease issuance process pursuant to 30 
CFR 585.232, as amended by the rulemaking which took effect on June 15, 
2011, (76 FR 28178). Should BOEM decide to proceed with the 
noncompetitive leasing process, it would ask if the sole respondent who 
nominated a particular area wants to proceed with acquiring the lease, 
and if so, the respondent must submit an acquisition fee as specified 
by 30 CFR 585.502(a). After receiving the acquisition fee, BOEM would 
follow the process outlined in 30 CFR 585.231. Within 60 days of the 
date of that notice, the respondent would be required to submit a Site 
Assessment Plan (SAP), as described in 30 CFR 585.231(d)(2)(i). BOEM 
will comply with the requirements of NEPA, CZMA, ESA, NHPA, and other 
applicable Federal statutes before issuing a lease noncompetitively. 
BOEM would coordinate and consult, as appropriate, with relevant 
Federal agencies, affected tribes, and affected state and local 
governments prior to issuing a noncompetitive lease, and in formulating 
lease terms, conditions, and stipulations.
    It is possible that responses to this Call may result in a 
determination that there is competitive interest in acquiring leases in 
some areas but not in others. BOEM will publicly announce its 
determinations before proceeding with any type of leasing process.

Description of the Area

    The Call Areas offshore North Carolina are delineated as 
Wilmington-West, Wilmington-East and Kitty Hawk, formerly referred to 
as North Carolina Planning Areas 1, 2, and 5 respectively, during 
BOEM's North Carolina offshore wind planning efforts. The three Areas 
include 195 whole OCS blocks and 60 partial blocks in total and 
comprise approximately 1,441 square nautical miles (494,016 hectares).

Call Area Wilmington-West

    The boundary of Call Area Wilmington-West begins 7 nautical miles 
(nmi) from the shore and extends roughly 11 nmi seaward. It extends 
from east to west approximately 15 nmi. The entire area is 
approximately 78 square nautical miles (26,784 hectares).
    The following 6 full OCS blocks are included within Call Area 
Wilmington-West: Georgetown NI17-09 Blocks 6231, 6232, 6281, 6282, 
6283, and 6332. In addition, parts of the following 9 OCS blocks are 
included within the area of interest: Georgetown NI17-09 Blocks 6230, 
6233, 6234, 6235, 6284, 6285, 6333, 6334, and 6383 as described in the 
table below.

                                     List of Partial OCS Blocks (Including Sub-Blocks) in Call Area Wilmington-West
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                                                                          Block
             Protraction name                     Protraction No.          No.                                   Sub-block
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Georgetown...............................  NI17-09.....................     6230  C, D, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P.
Georgetown...............................  NI17-09.....................     6233  A, B, C, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P.
Georgetown...............................  NI17-09.....................     6234  E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P.
Georgetown...............................  NI17-09.....................     6235  E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O.
Georgetown...............................  NI17-09.....................     6284  A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O.
Georgetown...............................  NI17-09.....................     6285  A, B, E.
Georgetown...............................  NI17-09.....................     6333  A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O.
Georgetown...............................  NI17-09.....................     6334  A, B, E.
Georgetown...............................  NI17-09.....................     6383  A, B, E.
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Call Area Wilmington-East

    The boundary of Call Area Wilmington-East begins 13 nmi from the 
shore and extends roughly 28 nmi seaward. It extends from east to west 
approximately 21 nmi. The entire area is approximately 327 square 
nautical miles (111,984 hectares).
    The following 51 full OCS blocks are included within the Call Area 
Wilmington-East: Georgetown NI17-09 Blocks 6438, 6389, 6439, 6488, 
6489, 6538, 6539, 6587, 6588, 6589, 6638, 6639; Cape Fear NI18-07: 
Blocks 6351, 6401, 6402, 6403, 6451, 6452, 6453, 6454, 6501, 6502, 
6503, 6504, 6505, 6551, 6552, 6553, 6554, 6555, 6556, 6601, 6602, 6603, 
6604, 6605, 6606, 6652, 6653, 6654, 6655, 6656, 6657, 6703, 6704, 6705, 
6706, 6754, 6755, 6804, 6854. In addition, parts of the following 15 
OCS blocks are included within the area of interest Georgetown NI17-09: 
Blocks 6388, 6437, 6487, 6537; Cape Fear NI18-07: Blocks 6352, 6353, 
6404, 6455, 6506, 6507, 6508, 6557, 6558, 6607, and 6855 as described 
in the table below.

[[Page 74208]]



                                     List of Partial OCS Blocks (Including Sub-Blocks) in Call Area Wilmington-East
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                                                                          Block
             Protraction name                     Protraction No.          No.                                   Sub-block
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Georgetown...............................  NI17-09.....................     6388  B, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, O, P.
Georgetown...............................  NI17-09.....................     6437  K, L, O, P.
Georgetown...............................  NI17-09.....................     6487  C, D, G, H, K, L, O, P.
Georgetown...............................  NI17-09.....................     6537  B, C, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, N, O, P.
Cape Fear................................  NI18-07.....................     6352  E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P.
Cape Fear................................  NI18-07.....................     6353  E, F, I, J, K, M, N, O, P.
Cape Fear................................  NI18-07.....................     6404  A, E, F, I, J, K, M, N, O, P.
Cape Fear................................  NI18-07.....................     6455  A, E, F, G, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P.
Cape Fear................................  NI18-07.....................     6506  A, B, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, O, P.
Cape Fear................................  NI18-07.....................     6507  L, M, N, O, P.
Cape Fear................................  NI18-07.....................     6508  I, M.
Cape Fear................................  NI18-07.....................     6557  A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, M, N, O.
Cape Fear................................  NI18-07.....................     6558  A.
Cape Fear................................  NI18-07.....................     6607  A, B, C, E, F, G, H, J, K, M, N, O, P.
Cape Fear................................  NI18-07.....................     6855  A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Respondents should be aware that Georgetown NI17-09 Blocks 6439, 
6489, 6539, 6589, 6639; Cape Fear NI18-07 Blocks 6351, 6401, 6451, 
6501, 6551, and 6601 border the edge of Universe Transverse Mercator 
(UTM) Zones 17 and 18. As a result, while these blocks are considered 
full OCS lease blocks, they vary in area and are smaller than standard 
OCS blocks. Official acreages for the blocks located within OPD NI18-07 
can be found at: http://www.boem.gov/Oil-and-Gas-Energy-Program/Mapping-and-Data/NI18-07-01-APR-2008-pdf.aspx . Official acreages for 
the blocks located within OPD NI17-09 can be found at: http://www.boem.gov/Oil-and-Gas-Energy-Program/Mapping-and-Data/NI17-09-01-APR-2008.aspx.

Kitty Hawk

    The boundary of Call Area Kitty Hawk begins 6 nmi from the shore 
and extends roughly 34 nmi seaward. It extends from north to south 
approximately 45 nmi. The entire area is approximately 1,036 square 
nautical miles (355,248 hectares).
    The following 138 full OCS blocks are included within the Call Area 
Kitty Hawk: Currituck NJ18-1 Blocks 6608, 6609, 6610, 6611, 6612, 6613, 
6614, 6615, 6658, 6659, 6660, 6661, 6662, 6663, 6664, 6665, 6666, 6667, 
6668, 6669, 6708, 6709, 6710, 6711, 6712, 6713, 6714, 6715, 6716, 6717, 
6718, 6719, 6720, 6759, 6760, 6761, 6762, 6763, 6764, 6765, 6766, 6767, 
6768, 6769, 6770, 6809, 6810, 6811, 6812, 6813 6714, 6815, 6816, 6817, 
6818, 6819, 6820, 6859, 6860, 6861, 6862, 6863, 6864, 6865, 6866, 6867 
6868, 6869, 6870, 6909, 6910, 6911, 6912, 6913, 6914, 6915, 6916, 6917, 
6918, 6919, 6920, 6960, 6961, 6962, 6963, 6964, 6965, 6966, 6967, 6968, 
6969, 6970, 7010, 7011, 7012, 7013, 7014, 7015, 7016, 7017, 7018, 7019, 
7020, 7061, 7062, 7063, 7066, 7067, 7068, 7069, 7070, 7112, 7116, 7117, 
7118, 7119, 7166, 7167, 7168, 6769; NI18-02 Blocks 6017, 6018, 6019, 
6067, 6068, 6069, 6117, 6618, 6119, 6165, 6166, 6167, 6168, 6169, 6216, 
6217, 6218, and 6219. In addition, parts of the following 36 OCS blocks 
are included within the area of interest: Currituck NJ18-11: Blocks 
6607, 6657, 6758, 6808, 6858, 6909, 6959, 7010, 7060, 7064, 7065, 7111, 
7113, 7114, 7115, 7120, 7161 7162, 7163, 7170; Manteo NI18-02: Blocks 
6012, 6016, 6020, 6066, 6070, 6114, 6115, 6116, 6120, 6164, 6215, 6265, 
6266, 6267, 6268, and 6269 as described in the table below.

                                        List of Partial OCS Blocks (Including Sub-Blocks) in Call Area Kitty Hawk
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                          Block
             Protraction name                     Protraction No.          No.                                   Sub-block
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     6607  C, D, G, H, K, L, O, P.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     6657  D, H, L, P.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     6758  B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, N, O, P.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     6808  C, D, G, H, K, L, P.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     6858  D, H.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     6909  A, B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, O, P.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     6959  C, D, G, H, L, P.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     7010  A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, N, O, P.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     7060  C, D, G, H, L.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     7064  A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, M, N.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     7065  A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, N, O, P.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     7111  A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, N, O, P.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     7113  A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, M, N.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     7114  A.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     7115  B, C, D, G, H, L, P.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     7120  A, B, C, E, F, G, I, J, K, M, N, O.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     7161  C, D, G, H, L, P.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     7162  A, B, C, D, E, F, H, I, J, K, M, N.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     7163  A.
Currituck................................  NJ18-11.....................     7170  A, B, C, E, F, G, I, J, K, M, N, O.
Manteo...................................  NI18-02.....................     6012  A.
Manteo...................................  NI18-02.....................     6016  A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, O, P.
Manteo...................................  NI18-02.....................     6020  A, B, C, E, F, I, J, M, N.

[[Page 74209]]

 
Manteo...................................  NI18-02.....................     6066  C, D, H, L, P.
Manteo...................................  NI18-02.....................     6070  A, B, E, F, I, J, M, N.
Manteo...................................  NI18-02.....................     6114  H, J, K, L, N, O, P.
Manteo...................................  NI18-02.....................     6115  E, I, J, M, N, O, P.
Manteo...................................  NI18-02.....................     6116  C, D, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P.
Manteo...................................  NI18-02.....................     6120  A, B, E, F, I, J, M, N.
Manteo...................................  NI18-02.....................     6164  B, C, D, H, L.
Manteo...................................  NI18-02.....................     6215  A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, N, O, P.
Manteo...................................  NI18-02.....................     6265  B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K.
Manteo...................................  NI18-02.....................     6266  A, B, C, D, E, F.
Manteo...................................  NI18-02.....................     6267  A.
Manteo...................................  NI18-02.....................     6268  D.
Manteo...................................  NI18-02.....................     6269  A, B, C, D, G, H.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OCS Blocks (Including Sub-Blocks) In the Call Areas Potentially Subject 
to Limitations

Navigational Safety

    The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) advises that most of the blocks 
included in the Call Areas would require further study to determine 
risks to navigational safety (see the following ``Navigational Issues'' 
section) if they were selected for leasing and development. BOEM may 
decide that certain OCS blocks included in the Call Areas will not be 
made available for leasing and/or development for navigational safety 
reasons, or stipulations may be developed to mitigate navigational 
concerns.
    If all of the blocks included in Call Areas Wilmington-West and 
Wilmington-East were to be made available for leasing and development, 
portions of a number of sub-blocks may not be available for surface 
occupancy, (i.e. the placement of wind facilities), because of 
proximity to the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the approaches to 
the Cape Fear River. These sub-blocks are listed in the table below.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 Protraction    Block
              Call area                   Protraction name           No.         No.            Sub-block
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wilmington-West.....................  Georgetown.............          NI1709     6235  H, K, L, N, O.
Wilmington-West.....................  Georgetown.............          NI1709     6285  A, B, E.
Wilmington-West.....................  Georgetown.............          NI1709     6284  H, K, L, N, O.
Wilmington-West.....................  Georgetown.............          NI1709     6334  B, E.
Wilmington-West.....................  Georgetown.............          NI1709     6333  L, O.
Wilmington-East.....................  Georgetown.............          NI1709     6437  K, O.
Wilmington-West.....................  Georgetown.............          NI1709     6383  B, E.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Department of Defense Activities

    The Department of Defense (DOD) conducts offshore testing, 
training, and operations in the Call Areas. To avoid or minimize 
potential conflicts with existing DOD activities, site-specific 
stipulations may be necessary for all OCS blocks within the Call Areas.
    Such stipulations may include, but are not limited to, a hold-and-
save-harmless agreement where the lessee assumes all risks of damage or 
injury to persons or property if such injury or damage to such person 
or property occurs by reason of the activities of the U.S. Government, 
and/or a requirement that at times requested by the DOD, the lessee 
controls its own electromagnetic emissions and those of its agents, 
employees, invitees, independent contractors, or subcontractors when 
operating in specified DOD Operating Areas (OPAREAs) or warning areas. 
Other examples of stipulations that may be required include a 
stipulation that the lessee enter into an agreement with the 
appropriate DOD commander when operating vessels or aircraft in a 
designated OPAREA or warning area, requiring that these vessel and 
aircraft movements be coordinated with the appropriate DOD commander, 
and/or a stipulation that DOD can request temporary suspension of 
operations and/or require evacuation on the lease in the interest of 
safety and/or national security.

Map of the Call Areas

    A map of the Call Areas and a table of the boundary coordinates in 
X, Y (eastings, northings) UTM Zone 17 or UTM Zone 18 (based on the 
Call Area geographic location), NAD83 Datum and geographic X, Y 
(longitude, latitude), NAD83 Datum can be found at the following URL: 
http://www.BOEM.gov/offshore/RenewableEnergy/StateActivities-North 
Carolina.htm.
    A large scale map of the Call Areas showing their boundaries with 
numbered blocks is available from BOEM at the following address: Bureau 
of Ocean Energy Management, Office of Renewable Energy Programs, 381 
Elden Street, HM 1328, Herndon, Virginia 20170. Phone: (703) 787-1320, 
Fax: (703) 787-1708.

Development of the Call Areas

    The Call Areas were delineated by BOEM in consultation with the 
Task Force, and are intended to minimize user conflicts while making 
appropriate areas available for potential commercial offshore wind 
energy leasing and development. The USCG advises that navigational 
conflicts may exist as described in the section entitled, 
``Navigational Issues.'' Specific mitigation, stipulations, or 
exclusion areas may be developed and applied at the leasing, site 
assessment, and/or the construction and operations stages as a result 
of environmental reviews and associated consultations, and by using 
information gathered through continued coordination with the Task 
Force. The following information and issues were discussed during 
consultation with the Task Force.

[[Page 74210]]

Results of North Carolina's Coastal Wind Study

    The Call Areas were developed with consideration of the boundaries 
recommended by the North Carolina Wind Study. The results of the study 
helped to identify areas that may not be suitable for wind development, 
based on features ranging from ocean-bottom geological and associated 
geological dynamics, electric transmission infrastructure, ocean usages 
and the presence and density of biological resources including avian 
populations and aquatic habitat. Of additional concern, as indicated by 
the North Carolina Study, is the alteration of viewscapes from the Cape 
Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores.

Areas Removed From Further Leasing Consideration

    BOEM considered the findings of the North Carolina Study, Task 
Force input, and other relevant studies and removed the following areas 
from further leasing consideration:
    1. No Build Areas (e.g., TSSs, marine sanctuaries, shipwreck 
clusters, explosive zones, areas in close proximity to anchorage areas, 
etc.): Leasing and potential development has been removed from 
consideration in blocks containing some of these features (e.g., TSSs) 
since it would likely directly and adversely affect shipping or be 
impractical to conduct ocean-bottom penetrating activities. BOEM may 
later require set-backs from these or other features.
    2. Areas of High Avian Densities: Areas with high avian densities 
are mostly concentrated along inlet areas (to a distance of 5 miles in 
all directions from the center of the inlet), in large zones off each 
of the three major Capes (Hatteras, Lookout, and Fear), and in areas 
swept by the Gulf Stream. Adverse effects may occur because of the 
greater potential for in-flight mortality from collisions with wind 
turbines, avoidance behaviors caused by the disturbance/presence of 
turbines and/or disturbance of ocean-bottom features.
    3. Areas with Unique Geological Conditions:
    a. The shoreline seaward to the 15-meter depth contour, including a 
four-mile zone around the inlet/outlet systems. This area is the active 
part of the barrier island system associated with sediment transport, 
inlet dynamics, and storm processes.
    b. Highly dissected outcrops of Oligocene Limestone, Miocene Pungo 
River Formation, and thin Quaternary carbonate cap rocks. These 
extensive hard-bottoms and firm-bottoms contain tremendous relief, 
biodiversity, and bio-productivity.
    c. Algal reef which occurs at the shelf edge and above the steep 
drop-off of the continental slope that is dominated by steep clinoform 
sediment deposits, slump blocks, and flow structures.
    d. East of Diamond Shoals where the shelf edge is characterized by 
an extremely steep erosional scarp with a downstream sediment scour and 
a deposition zone that sweeps off to the northeast. These features are 
probably the direct result of erosion and deposition by the Gulf Stream 
as it is deflected off the North Carolina continental margin at Cape 
Hatteras.
    e. Shallow and Active Sand Bodies of the cross-shelf and the cape 
shoal structures (Frying Pan Shoals, Diamond Shoals and Cape Lookout 
Shoals) are critical components of the large-scale and long-term 
sediment dynamics of the barrier island system and are characterized by 
active bedforms and scour.
    4. Areas within 6 miles from shore: The results of the numerous 
studies along the Mid-Atlantic and North-Atlantic found that birds, 
certain marine mammals and other resources occur in higher densities 
closer to shore. In addition, numerous shipwrecks, reefs, and shoals 
tend to occur in this zone, typically from the shoreline to 6 miles 
offshore. Therefore, some environmental impacts could be reduced with 
increasing distance from the shoreline.
    5. Fish, Fisheries and Marine Habitats: The three main Capes in 
North Carolina are regions of high biological productivity and high 
levels of fishing activity. Live bottom habitat becomes increasingly 
common on the North Carolina OCS from north to south. A zone south of 
Cape Fear and located in a band that ranges from about 8 to 20 miles 
wide is thought to be such a concentration and has been removed from 
consideration.
    6. Military Areas: DOD conducts operations readiness activities for 
both hardware and personnel on the OCS. The Call Areas were refined 
based on DOD assessments of compatibility between potential commercial 
offshore wind development and DOD testing, training and operational 
activities. Although OCS blocks determined to be incompatible with 
these activities were removed from consideration, site specific 
stipulations may be necessary for remaining lease blocks in the Call 
Areas to avoid conflicts with DOD activities. BOEM will consult with 
the DOD regarding potential issues concerning offshore testing, 
training and operational activities, and will use best management 
practices to develop appropriate stipulations to avoid conflicts with 
DOD in the Call Areas.

Areas Under National Park Service (NPS) Jurisdiction

    The mission of the NPS, as set forth under the NPS Organic Act, is 
to protect the natural and cultural resources, including the scenery, 
in units of the National Park System, and to provide for their 
enjoyment in a manner that will leave them unimpaired for future 
generations (http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/mission.htm; also see 16 U.S.C. 
1). The NPS has advised BOEM that Congress established the Cape 
Hatteras National Seashore, in part, to conserve the scenic values and 
natural and cultural resources of the dynamic barrier islands in the 
area. Cape Hatteras National Seashore is home to the National Historic 
Landmark Cape Hatteras Light Station and other historic properties.
    The NPS has informed BOEM that the Cape Hatteras National Seashore 
is important to the local economy and that in 2010, the NPS recorded 
more than 2.1 million recreational visits to Cape Hatteras National 
Seashore and a contribution of $115 million and approximately 1,800 
jobs to the local economy. The NPS shared with BOEM a 2002 Outer Banks 
Group Parks Visitor Study conducted by the University of Idaho. In this 
study, visitors were asked to rate the importance of selected 
attributes in planning for the preservation of Cape Hatteras National 
Seashore for future generations. According to the study, 84 percent of 
the respondents identified scenic views as extremely or very important. 
The NPS believes these economic and recreational values are directly 
dependent on the quality of park resources and the visitor experience 
at this popular seashore.
    Units of the National Park System and other marine protected areas 
are identified as ``Areas of Special Concern'' in Section 5.2.15 of the 
October 2007 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Alternative Energy 
Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). Call Area Kitty 
Hawk is located offshore of properties managed by the NPS.
    The NPS has raised concerns over the potential impact that wind 
energy development off the coast of North Carolina could have on scenic 
ocean views and night skies of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. At 
this time, BOEM has not modified the Call Area Kitty Hawk, portions of 
which are off the coast of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, to 
address these concerns.
    To help BOEM and NPS better evaluate the potential visual impacts 
of

[[Page 74211]]

commercial wind energy development on visitors to the Cape Hatteras and 
Cape Lookout National Seashores, the two agencies undertook a visual 
simulation study in the interest of providing accurate representations 
of offshore wind facilities at various distances (i.e., 10, 15 and 20 
nmi) from shore and under a variety of conditions (e.g., daytime and 
nighttime views, multiple array configurations, various lighting 
conditions, etc.). The study was completed in August 2012. Based on the 
study results and the dimension of the turbines analyzed, from certain 
locations and under certain conditions, turbines could be visible 
during the day and at night at 20 nmi (the outer limit of the visual 
simulations configurations). Results of the visualization study can be 
found at: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/State-Activities/North-Carolina.aspx.
    The NPS is concerned about the potential impact to the scenic 
experience of visitors to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Although 
BOEM is not modifying the Call Area Kitty Hawk at this time, BOEM may 
in the future determine that portions of the Call Area Kitty Hawk may 
not be appropriate for commercial wind development.

Navigational Issues

    The USCG used a color-coding system to designate portions of the 
three Call areas as green, yellow, and red. A designation of green 
indicates that the USCG believes that an area, if developed, would pose 
minimal to no detrimental impact on navigational safety, but that the 
area should still be subject to further study. A designation of yellow 
indicates that the USCG believes that development of the area could 
have unacceptable effects on navigational safety and that further study 
is required to determine the potential effect that development of the 
area would have on navigational safety. A designation of red indicates 
that the USCG believes that development of that area would have an 
unacceptable effect on navigational safety based on existing 
navigational routes. A map showing the OCS blocks (including sub-
blocks) and their corresponding color coding can be found at: http://boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/State-Activities/North-Carolina.aspx.
    BOEM has analyzed USCG 2009 and 2010 Automatic Identification 
System (AIS) data, including density plots (by 1/16th of an OCS Block) 
for all vessel types and various individual vessel types (e.g. tankers, 
cargo vessels, tugs, etc.) for the OCS offshore North Carolina. Maps of 
Call Areas Wilmington-West, Wilmington-East and Kitty Hawk overlaid on 
these AIS analyses can be found at: http://boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/State-Activities/North-Carolina.aspx.
    The 2009 and 2010 AIS data used to conduct this analysis, in 
addition to other AIS tools, can be downloaded at: http://www.marinecadastre.gov/AIS/default.aspx.
    BOEM encourages respondents and interested parties to incorporate 
this information into their decision-making and comments and when 
nominating areas.
    In general, placement of obstacles in previously open seas may have 
an impact on maritime traffic. The AIS data show that portions of the 
Call Areas are trafficked by multiple types of vessels traveling along 
the Atlantic Coast and entering and leaving ports located in New York, 
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North 
Carolina and South Carolina. These vessels include commercial, 
military, and commercial fishing vessels. The transit patterns of these 
vessels are influenced by the unique coastal geology and oceanographic 
conditions off North Carolina's coast. BOEM will consider potential 
impacts to existing users when conducting reviews of any Construction 
and Operations Plans (COP) submitted subsequent to a leasing process 
and may require that lessees mitigate these impacts. Potential 
respondents to the Call should recognize that the impacts on existing 
users must be evaluated before a project can be approved. The USCG has 
generated AIS data plots and information for the Call Areas that are 
available on the USCG Atlantic Coast Port Access Route study Web site 
at: www.uscg.mil/lantarea/acpars and will provide raw data for analysis 
upon request. Potential respondents should recognize that portions of 
the Call Areas may not be offered for leasing and development by BOEM 
because of existing vessel traffic.
    The USCG has a responsibility to ensure the safety of navigation 
under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act (PWSA) (33 U.S.C. 1221). The 
PWSA requires the USCG to provide safe access routes for the movement 
of vessel traffic proceeding to or from ports or places subject to the 
jurisdiction of the United States. The USCG does so by designating 
necessary fairways and TSSs for vessels operating in the territorial 
sea of the United States and in high sea approaches, outside the 
territorial sea. The USCG may also determine that establishment of 
other ships' routing measures would enhance navigational safety, and it 
works with its Federal interagency and International Maritime 
Organization partners to establish these voluntary measures as 
necessary.
    The potential for navigational safety risk posed by building 
structures in proximity to shipping routes is affected by numerous 
factors including, but not limited to: Vessel size, vessel type, 
density of traffic, prevailing weather and hydrographic conditions, 
ocean and wind driven currents, cumulative impact of multiple 
obstructions (for example, wind assessment or development facilities), 
existence of multiple shipping routes (for example, crossing or meeting 
situations), radar/automatic radar plotting aid (ARPA) interference, 
and the existence of mitigating factors such as navigational aids, 
vessel traffic services, or pilotage. Currently, there is no standard 
recommended separation distance between offshore renewable energy 
facilities and shipping routes. The USCG has reviewed guidance 
published by other countries, such as the United Kingdom's Maritime 
Guidance Note MGN-371, and consulted with its own waterways subject 
matter experts. Currently, the USCG considers that the placement of 
offshore wind assessment and generation facilities in any area less 
than 1 nmi from traditional shipping routes poses a high risk to 
navigational safety and therefore does not recommend placement of 
offshore renewable energy facilities in such areas. The USCG considers 
placement of such wind facilities in areas greater than 5 nmi from 
existing shipping routes to pose minimal risk to navigational safety. 
Areas considered for placement of wind facilities between 1 nmi and 5 
nmi would require additional USCG analysis to determine if mitigation 
factors could be applied to bring navigational safety risk within USCG 
acceptable levels.
    Respondents to this Call should note that impacts to radar and ARPA 
may still occur outside of 1 nmi and will have to be evaluated along 
with other potential impacts. The above are only planning guidelines 
and may be changed based on the completion of the Atlantic Coast Port 
Access Route Study (ACPARS), which is described herein. In addition, 
these guidelines may be further modified upon completion of a 
Navigational Safety Risk Assessment (NSRA) that is required before BOEM 
approves construction of any offshore renewable energy facilities. The 
USCG is conducting an ACPARS to determine how best to route traffic on 
the Atlantic coast. See 76 FR 27288 (May 11, 2011). This study will 
better inform the USCG about the navigational safety risks

[[Page 74212]]

associated with construction of offshore renewable energy facilities. 
The data gathered during this ACPARS may result in the establishment of 
new vessel routing measures, modification of existing routing measures, 
or removal of some existing routing measures off the Atlantic Coast 
from Maine to Florida.
    As a parallel effort that is shorter in duration, BOEM is working 
to establish a Maritime Working Group (MWG) to facilitate consideration 
of vessel traffic and safety concerns when making decisions regarding 
the further delineation of North Carolina Call Areas for potential 
leasing and development offshore North Carolina. BOEM hopes to address 
these concerns through the analysis of vessel movement data, such as 
AIS information, and the integration of maritime stakeholder input. The 
MWG would comprise maritime stakeholders that use the waters offshore 
North Carolina, regulate their use, or have a unique geographic 
expertise of vessel traffic patterns in the area. Ideally, this effort 
would distinguish traditional shipping routes, delineate appropriate 
shipping corridor widths and buffers, and recommend potential 
modifications to established routing measures and new routing measures 
that could be incorporated into the USCG ACPARS and assist BOEM in 
decision-making.

Transmission Issues

    As indicated in Section 5.2.15.3 of the OCS Alternative Energy 
Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) at: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/Regulatory-Information/Index.aspx#Programmatic_Environmental_Impact_Statement_(PEIS), 
transmission facilities would not be located on NPS properties.

Required Nomination Information

    If you intend to submit a nomination for a commercial wind energy 
lease in the areas identified in this notice, you must provide the 
following information:
    (1) The BOEM Protraction name, number, and specific whole or 
partial OCS blocks within the Call Area(s) that are of interest for 
commercial wind leasing, including any required buffer area. This 
information should be submitted as a spatial file compatible with 
ArcGIS 10.0 in a geographic coordinate system (NAD 83) in addition to 
your hard copy submittal. If your proposed lease area(s) includes one 
or more partial blocks, please describe those partial blocks in terms 
of a sixteenth (i.e. sub-block) of an OCS block. BOEM will not consider 
any areas outside of the Call Areas in this process;
    (2) A description of your objectives and the facilities that you 
would use to achieve those objectives;
    (3) A preliminary schedule of proposed activities, including those 
leading to commercial operations;
    (4) Available and pertinent data and information concerning 
renewable energy resources and environmental conditions in the area(s) 
that you wish to lease, including energy and resource data and 
information used to evaluate the Call Areas. Where applicable, spatial 
information should be submitted in a format compatible with ArcGIS 10.0 
in a geographic coordinate system (NAD 83);
    (5) Documentation demonstrating that you are legally qualified to 
hold a lease, as set forth in 30 CFR 585.106 and 107. Examples of the 
documentation appropriate for demonstrating your legal qualifications 
and related guidance can be found in Chapter 2 and Appendix B of the 
BOEM Renewable Energy Framework Guide Book available at: http://www.BOEM.gov/offshore/RenewableEnergy/PDFs/REnGuidebook_03August2009_3_.pdf. Legal qualification documents will be placed in an official 
file that may be made available for public review. If you wish that any 
part of your legal qualification documentation be kept confidential, 
clearly identify what should be kept confidential, and submit it under 
separate cover (see ``Protection of Privileged or Confidential 
Information Section'', below); and
    (6) Documentation demonstrating that you are technically and 
financially capable of constructing, operating, maintaining and 
decommissioning the facilities described in (2) above. Guidance 
regarding the required documentation to demonstrate your technical and 
financial qualifications can be found at: http://www.BOEM.gov/offshore/RenewableEnergy/PDFs/QualificationGuidelines.pdf. Documentation you 
submit to demonstrate your legal, technical, and financial 
qualifications must be provided to BOEM in both paper and electronic 
formats. BOEM considers an Adobe PDF file stored on a storage media 
device to be an acceptable format for submitting an electronic copy.
    It is critical that you submit a complete nomination so that BOEM 
may evaluate your submission in a timely manner. If BOEM reviews your 
nomination and determines that it is incomplete, BOEM will inform you 
of this determination in writing. This letter will describe the 
information that BOEM determined to be missing from your nomination, 
and which you must submit in order for BOEM to deem your submission 
complete. You will be given 15 business days from the date of that 
letter to submit the information that BOEM found to be missing from 
your original submission. If you do not meet this deadline, or if BOEM 
determines this second submission is insufficient and has failed to 
complete your nomination, then BOEM retains the right to deem your 
nomination invalid. In such a case, BOEM will not process your 
nomination.
    It is not required that you submit a nomination in response to this 
Call in order to submit a bid in a potential lease sale offshore North 
Carolina, should BOEM determine that competitive interest exists in one 
or more portions of the Call Areas after the close of the Call comment 
period. However, you would not be able to participate in such a lease 
sale unless, prior to the sale, you had demonstrated that you are 
legally qualified to hold a BOEM renewable energy lease, and you had 
demonstrated that you are technically and financially capable of 
constructing, operating, maintaining, and decommissioning the 
facilities you would propose to install on your lease. To ensure that 
BOEM has sufficient time to process your qualifications package, you 
should submit this package during the PSN 60-day public comment period. 
More information can be found at: http://www.BOEM.gov/offshore/RenewableEnergy/PDFs/QualificationGuidelines.pdf.

Requested Information From Interested or Affected Parties

    BOEM is requesting from the public and other interested or affected 
parties specific and detailed comments regarding the following:
    1. Geological, geophysical, and biological conditions (including 
bottom and shallow hazards and live bottom) in the area described in 
this notice;
    2. Known archaeological and/or cultural resource sites on the 
seabed in the areas described in this notice;
    3. Historic properties potentially affected by the construction of 
meteorological towers, the installation of meteorological buoys, or 
commercial wind development in the areas identified in this Call;
    4. Multiple uses of the areas, including navigation (commercial and 
recreational vessel use), fishing hotspots, and commercial fishing 
areas;
    5. Information relating to whether or not offshore wind turbines 
located in the areas identified in this notice would adversely affect 
the North Carolina seascape, and ideas or strategies that could be used 
to help mitigate or minimize any adverse visual effects,

[[Page 74213]]

such as: how far offshore turbines should be placed to minimize the 
visual impact from the coastline, specific locations or areas to avoid 
development altogether, or any other strategies to help reduce the 
visual footprint (for example, the color of the turbines [towers, 
nacelle, blades], the arrangement or pattern of the turbine array, the 
dimension of the turbines (e.g., height and blade span), visual 
navigational lighting requirements, the maximum number of turbines that 
should be allowed in a specific area, etc.);
    6. The type of transmission system (e.g., AC, HVDC, etc.) a 
prospective developer would likely utilize for a wind facility offshore 
North Carolina. If AC, please state and explain the maximum distance 
you would be willing to run an AC transmission system to deliver power 
from an offshore wind facility to an onshore substation;
    7. General interest by a developer(s) in constructing a backbone 
transmission system that would transport electricity generated by wind 
projects located offshore North Carolina, including a general 
description of the transmission's proposed path and potential 
interconnection points;
    8. Available and pertinent data and information concerning 
renewable energy resources and environmental conditions in the area 
identified in this notice. Where applicable, spatial information should 
be submitted in a format compatible with ArcGIS 10.0 in a geographic 
coordinate system (NAD 83);
    9. Habitats that may require special attention during siting and 
construction; and
    10. Other relevant socioeconomic, biological, and environmental 
information.

Protection of Privileged or Confidential Information

Freedom of Information Act

    BOEM will protect privileged or confidential information that you 
submit, as required by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Exemption 
4 of FOIA applies to trade secrets and commercial or financial 
information that you submit that is privileged or confidential. If you 
wish to protect the confidentiality of such information, clearly mark 
it and request that BOEM treat it as confidential. BOEM will not 
disclose such information, subject to the requirements of FOIA. Please 
label privileged or confidential information ``Contains Confidential 
Information'' and consider submitting such information as a separate 
attachment.
    However, BOEM will not treat as confidential any aggregate 
summaries of such information or comments not containing such 
information. Additionally, BOEM will not treat as confidential (1) the 
legal title of the nominating entity (for example, the name of your 
company), or (2) the list of whole or partial blocks that you are 
nominating. Information that is not labeled as privileged or 
confidential will be regarded by BOEM as suitable for public release.

Section 304 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470w-
3(a))

    BOEM is required, after consultation with the Secretary, to 
withhold the location, character, or ownership of historic resources if 
it determines that disclosure may, among other things, risk harm to the 
historic resources or impede the use of a traditional religious site by 
practitioners. Tribal entities should designate information that falls 
under Section 304 of NHPA as confidential.

    Dated: December 10, 2012.
Tommy P. Beaudreau,
Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
[FR Doc. 2012-30093 Filed 12-12-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P