Navigation Systems

NVIC: Coast Guard roles, responsibilities regarding Offshore Renewable Energy Installations

Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Coast Guard may serve as a Cooperating Agency to the Lead Agency (e.g., the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, United States Army Corps of Engineers, or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) responsible for issuing permits to build Offshore Renewable Energy Installations (OREI), including wind turbines, wave power devices, and ocean current energy systems. In this capacity, the Coast Guard provides the Lead Agency an evaluation of the potential impacts the proposed OREI may have on the Marine Transportation System, safety of navigation, the traditional uses of the waterway, and on the Coast Guard’s ability to conduct its 11 statutory missions.

The Director of Marine Transportation Systems for the Coast Guard, Mr. Mike Emerson, signed Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 01-19 on Aug. 1, 2019, to provide guidance on information and factors the Coast Guard will consider when reviewing an application for a permit to build and operate an OREI. This NVIC will assist the Coast Guard in providing input to the Lead Agency for environmental review and decision-making purposes. Additionally, this circular provides guidance to members of industry, port safety and security stakeholders, and the public on the Coast Guard’s role and responsibilities in the OREI application process.

For full details, download NVIC 01-19 and its enclosures. Submit questions to

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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