Vineyard Wind Offshore Wind Energy Project Biological ... 23/2/2016 آ  Vineyard Wind Offshore Wind...

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  • Vineyard Wind Offshore Wind Energy Project Biological Assessment December 2018 (Revised March 2019) For the National Marine Fisheries Service U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Office of Renewable Energy Programs

  • Vineyard Wind Offshore Wind Energy Project Biological Assessment, NOAA

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    TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 1

    1.1. Background.................................................................................................................... 1 1.2. Project Area ................................................................................................................... 5 1.3. Proposed Action ............................................................................................................ 5

    2. Endangered Species Act Section 7 Consultation History ................................................. 6 2.1. BSEE ............................................................................................................................. 7 2.2. EPA ............................................................................................................................... 7 2.3. USACE .......................................................................................................................... 8 2.4. USCG ............................................................................................................................ 8 2.5. NMFS............................................................................................................................. 9

    3. Threatened and Endangered Species in the Proposed Action Area ................................ 9 3.1. Marine Mammals ......................................................................................................... 11

    3.1.1. North Atlantic Right Whales .............................................................................. 14 3.1.2. Fin Whales ........................................................................................................ 25 3.1.3. Sei Whales ........................................................................................................ 28 3.1.4. Sperm Whales................................................................................................... 30

    3.2. Sea Turtles .................................................................................................................. 32 3.2.1. Description of the Affected Environment for Sea Turtles .................................. 34 3.2.2. Regional Setting ................................................................................................ 39 3.2.3. Hearing Range .................................................................................................. 40 3.2.4. Loggerhead Sea Turtle ..................................................................................... 41 3.2.5. Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle .................................................................................. 42 3.2.6. Green Sea Turtle............................................................................................... 43 3.2.7. Leatherback Sea Turtle ..................................................................................... 43

    3.3. Marine Fish .................................................................................................................. 44 4. Proposed Action ................................................................................................................. 48

    4.1. Offshore Facilities ........................................................................................................ 49 4.1.1. Wind Turbine Generators .................................................................................. 49 4.1.2. Electrical Service Platforms .............................................................................. 51 4.1.3. Scour Protection ................................................................................................ 51 4.1.4. Offshore Cables ................................................................................................ 52 4.1.5. Operations and Maintenance ............................................................................ 54 4.1.6. Decommissioning .............................................................................................. 54

    4.2. Onshore Facilities ........................................................................................................ 55 4.2.1. Landfall Site ...................................................................................................... 55 4.2.2. Onshore Export Cable and Substation Site ...................................................... 55

    4.3. Proposed Mitigation Measures .................................................................................... 56 5. Effects of the Proposed Action .......................................................................................... 62

    5.1. Effects of the Proposed Action on Marine Mammals ................................................... 64 5.1.1. Construction and Installation ............................................................................. 64

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    5.1.2. Operations and Maintenance ............................................................................ 84 5.1.3. Decommissioning .............................................................................................. 87 5.1.4. Effects to Critical Habitat ................................................................................... 89

    5.2. Figure 5.1-2: Critical habitat for North Atlantic Right Whale Foraging AreaEffects of the Proposed Action on Sea Turtles .................................................................................. 90 5.2.1. Construction and Installation ............................................................................. 91 5.2.2. Operations and Maintenance ............................................................................ 97 5.2.3. Decommissioning ............................................................................................ 100 5.2.4. Effects to Critical Habitat ................................................................................. 101

    5.3. Effects of the Proposed Action on Atlantic Sturgeon ................................................. 101 5.3.1. Construction .................................................................................................... 101 5.3.2. Operations and Maintenance .......................................................................... 111 5.3.3. Decommissioning ............................................................................................ 113 5.3.4. Effects to Critical Habitat ................................................................................. 113

    6. Conclusions ....................................................................................................................... 114 7. Standard Operating Conditions for Protected Species ................................................. 116 8. References ......................................................................................................................... 116

    LIST OF TABLES Table 3.1-1: Federally Listed Marine Mammals that May Be Affected in the Action Area .......... 11 Table 3.1-2: Summary of the Total Number of Sightings and Number of Animals Sighted in the Large Pelagic Survey Study Area during the Surveys from 2011-2015 ...................................... 13 Table 3.2-1: Summary of Sea Turtles Likely to Occur in the Coastal Waters off Rhode Island and Massachusetts ..................................................................................................................... 33 Table 3.2-2: Sea Turtle Hearing Range ...................................................................................... 40 Table 3.2-3: Effort-Weighted Average Number of Sightings and Number of Animals Observed 41 Table 3.3-1: Atlantic Sturgeon General Life Stage and Duration Information ............................. 47 Table 4.1-1: Vineyard Wind Project WTG Specifications with Maximum Design Scenario ........ 50 Table 4.1-2: Vineyard Wind Project ESP Specifications with Maximum Design Scenario a ....... 51 Table 4.1-3: Vineyard Wind Project Scour Protection Information .............................................. 52 Table 5.1-2: Behavioral Exposure Criteria (based on Wood et al. 2012) .................................... 67 Table 5.1-3: Number of Monopiles Installed per Month .............................................................. 68 Table 5.1-4: Radial Distances (R95% in meters) to Sound Pressure Level for PTS and Harassment Thresholds for Marine Mammals with 6 dB Attenuation ......................................... 69 Table 5.1-5: Number of Animals Estimated to be Exposed above Sound Levels for Potential PTS and Harassment for Scenario 2 (1–2 piles per day) with 6 dB attenuation. ........................ 70 Table 5.1-6. Estimated maximum daily trips and trips per month during Project construction. ... 79 Table 5.2-1: Sea Turtle Density Estimates used for Animal Movement Modeling ...................... 92

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    Table 5.2-2: Mean Radial Distance (R95% in meters) to Threshold Criteria for Sea Turtles during Impact Hammering with 6 dB Attenuation System a,b.....