UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOROffice of Renewable Energy ProgramsBureau of Ocean Energy ManagementInformation Guidelines for a Renewable EnergyConstruction and Operations Plan (COP)Version 4.0May 27, 2020Guidance DisclaimerExcept to the extent that the contents of this document derive from requirements established bystatute, regulation, lease, contract, or other binding legal authority, the contents of this documentdo not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. Thisdocument is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding legal requirements, relatedagency policies, and technical issues.CancellationThis guidance document cancels and supersedes version 3 of the document of the same titledated April 7, 2016, and will remain in effect until cancelled.
Introduction to These GuidelinesThis document provides guidance on the information requirements for a Construction andOperations Plan (COP) for Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) renewable energy activities on acommercial lease, as required by 30 CFR part 585. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management(BOEM) is providing these guidelines to clarify the information that it would find helpful inreviewing COP submittals. Specifically, the purpose of this document is to provide guidance onsurvey requirements, project-specific information, and information to meet the requirements ofthe Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA),and other applicable laws and regulations.This document is intended to provide guidance to the regulated community and is not intended toset information or data standards or prescribe additional requirements. Rather, the purpose ofthis document is to further explain the applicable provisions of BOEM’s renewable energyregulations, found at 30 CFR part 585, and provide examples of documentation that may besubmitted to help BOEM evaluate whether the requirements found in the regulations have beenmet.Authority and BackgroundBOEM published the regulations found in 30 CFR part 585 to establish procedures for theissuance and administration of leases, right-of-way (ROW) grants, and right-of-use and easement(RUE) grants for renewable energy production on the OCS, as well as RUEs for the alternate useof OCS facilities for energy or marine-related purposes. A COP contains information describingall planned facilities that you (the commercial lease applicant, the leaseholder, or operator offacilities on a commercial lease) propose to construct and use for your project, along with allproposed activities including your proposed construction activities, commercial operations, andconceptual decommissioning plans for all planned facilities, including onshore and supportfacilities.Pursuant to 30 CFR 585.601, a COP must be submitted six months prior to the completion ofyour site assessment term. A Site Assessment Plan (SAP) and COP can be submittedconcurrently. The COP (or concurrent SAP/COP) is submitted only after you have a clearlydefined project proposal and sufficient data and information for BOEM to conduct technical,NEPA, and other required reviews. You should design your project and conduct all activities in amanner that ensures safety and prevents undue harm or damage to archaeological or naturalresources. You must also take measures to prevent the unauthorized discharge of pollutantsincluding marine trash and debris into the offshore environment (30 CFR 585.105).A COP must demonstrate that the project is being conducted in a manner that conforms toresponsible offshore development per 30 CFR 585.621; this includes the application of bestmanagement practices (BMPs). Additional information regarding BMPs resulting from theRecord of Decision for the 2007 Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for AlternativeEnergy Development and Production and Alternate Use of Facilities on the Outer ContinentalShelf (Section 2.7), prepared by BOEM, is presented in attachment A. You should review andrefer to the BMPs, included below in attachment A, as you design your project and, as2
appropriate, you should incorporate them in your project planning and implementation stages.BMPs that are not proposed as part of your project may be included as a condition of approval ofyour COP.The information that must be submitted in a COP is specified in 30 CFR 585.626 (a) and (b).Detailed information and certifications (as specified under 30 CFR 585.627) must be submittedto assist BOEM in complying with its NEPA obligations and other relevant laws. In addition,BOEM will review your submitted COP and the information pursuant to 30 CFR 585.627 todetermine if it contains all the information required by the regulations and the appropriate levelof detail such that BOEM can deem your COP complete and ready for consideration. Your COPshould include, as part of the information pursuant to 30 CFR 585.627, the requested baselineinformation requirements and impact-producing factors found in attachment E. The scope ofadditional information and/or analyses will be identified on a project-by-project basis and isdetermined by the following:(1) Alternatives developed and analyzed for your project;(2) Concerns raised during the public scoping and hearing processes;(3) Environmental and technical design reviews by BOEM of your proposed project; and(4) Statutory state and federal consultations.Additional mandatory mitigation measures and monitoring requirements may be identified orchanged during BOEM’s review process. attachment E identifies other possible informationneeds. The need for additional information and/or analyses may change your proposed projectplan and affect the project schedule.Release of COP InformationBOEM will conduct a completeness review after the COP submittal to ensure that the requiredelements of your submittal are present. Once BOEM has determined that your submittal iscomplete, the COP may become a public document and be available on BOEM’s website.However, before doing so, BOEM will protect privileged or confidential information, asdescribed in 30 CFR 585.113.To assist in BOEM’s determination of privileged or confidential information, please labelprivileged or confidential information “Contains Confidential Information” and considersubmitting such information as a separate attachment. In addition, the National HistoricPreservation Act requires BOEM to withhold from public disclosure the location, character, orownership of historic resources if the agency determines that the disclosure may, among otherconcerns, risk harm to the historic resources or impede the use of traditional religious sites bypractitioners.3
Number of CopiesPursuant to 30 CFR 585.622 you are required to provide BOEM with one paper copy and oneelectronic version of your COP and all supporting materials. Please consult the appropriateregion for the preferred electronic format (see Section E of this guidance). If the COP containsinformation considered proprietary, depending on the amount of proprietary information, preparea submittal that either:(1) Contains a version stamped “public copy” without proprietary information and anagency version stamped “proprietary information”; or(2) Consists of a public copy with all proprietary information in an appendix that can beremoved before the COP is made public.BOEM may request additional hardcopies if affected states require them for their Coastal ZoneManagement Act (CZMA) consistency review or concurrence.4
Table of ContentsContents of a Construction and Operations Plan (COP)1. COP Purpose and Scope2. Pre-Survey Coordination with BOEM: COP Survey Plan and Meeting3. COP Review Process4. Phased Development5. Required Survey Results and Supporting Data6. Project-Specific Information Requirements66677811Required Information to Accompany the COP1. Information for Compliance with NEPA and Other Relevant Laws2. Oil Spill Response Plan (OSRP)3. Safety Management System (SMS)19191920Revisions to an Approved COP20Contacts and Submittal Addresses21Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) StatementAttachment A: Best Management PracticesAttachment B: Elements of the Project DescriptionAttachment C: Design Standards & Environmental Loading for Offshore Wind EnergyAttachment D: Waste and Discharge InformationAttachment E: Information Requirements for NEPA and Other Relevant LawsAttachment F: Phased Development Site Characterization DataAttachment G: Coordination Efforts Relating to Existing Telecommunications Cables23242931363759615
Contents of a Construction and Operations Plan (COP)1. COP Purpose and ScopeThe purpose of the COP is to provide a description of all proposed activities and plannedfacilities that you intend to construct and use for a project under a commercial lease. Pursuant to30 CFR 585.626, the COP must include a description of all planned facilities, including onshoreand support facilities, as well as anticipated project easement needs for the project. It must alsodescribe the activities related to the project including construction, commercial operations,maintenance, decommissioning, and site clearance procedures. The COP will provide the basisfor the analysis of the environmental and socioeconomic effects and operational integrity of yourproposed construction, operation, and decommissioning activities.The scope of a COP depends on how you wish to develop the commercial lease. Pursuant to 30CFR 585.629, if you plan to construct your project in phases, it should be clearly documented inyour COP. Data gathered from site assessment and site characterization activities should be usedto develop your COP. In the event your project requires additional survey data beyond what hasalready been completed in support of the COP, BOEM will review the survey plans described inyour COP before you begin such additional survey activities.To facilitate an efficient review of your COP, BOEM recommends structuring your COP aroundthe regulatory sections in 30 CFR § 585.626 and 30 CFR § 585.627 and identifying how theinformation satisfies the requirements of each section. If you choose an alternate organizationfor your COP, please provide adequate cross references to the corresponding regulatory sectionsto allow us to trace your inputs back to the requirements of the regulations. Attachment Bprovides an example of an organizing theme for your project description and identification ofimpacting factors. If you choose to use such a theme, you should ensure all appropriateregulatory sections are cross-referenced within it.2.Pre-Survey Coordination with BOEM: COP Survey Plan and MeetingPrior to submittal of any plan, you are strongly encouraged to discuss your pre-survey planningwith BOEM to ensure all surveys are conducted in a manner that addresses the regulatoryinformation requirements for a COP. Pre-survey coordination provides an opportunity for us todiscuss common goals and expectations, agree upon the technical aspects and key parameters forthe surveys, and to advise you regarding the necessary authorizations or permits from otherresource agencies before you contract and mobilize your resources for an offshore survey(s).BOEM recommends, and may require through lease stipulation, the development of a surveyplan and the scheduling of one or more pre-survey meeting to discuss the survey plan. A COPsurvey plan should provide a general description of the environmental and physical condition ofthe lease area and the timeline of the surveys to be conducted on your lease. These surveysshould be undertaken in a manner that will allow the lessee to satisfy the informationrequirements in the applicable regulations, including but not limited to 30 CFR 621, 626, and627.6
The survey plan should also include a desktop study on offshore activities, potential hazards, andenvironmental conditions. The desktop studies should typically include the following topics:Anthropogenic Conditions and HazardsFisheries, marine sanctuaries, protected species, cables/pipelines, hydrocarbon exploration,restricted areas, hazards (shipwrecks, anchorage zones, rock outcrops, etc.), and territorialclaims.Environmental Conditions and HazardsOceanography, geology, bathymetry, geomorphology, seafloor conditions, seismic and volcanicactivity, sediment transport, meteorology, navigational warnings, and restricted locations and/ortime periods.3. COP Review ProcessThe submission of your COP is the initial step in a multi-step review process that may result inCOP approval. Your COP will be reviewed by BOEM to determine: (1) whether it contains allof the required categories of information necessary to have it considered complete, and (2)whether the information provided is of sufficient quality and quantity to conduct technical andenvironmental reviews (30 CFR 585.628). If we determine that your COP meets submittalrequirements, we will deem it complete, and then discuss with you the processing costs andpreparation of appropriate environmental analysis documents (30 CFR 585.111).4. Phased DevelopmentPursuant to 30 CFR 585.629, a leaseholder or an applicant may include in its COP a request todevelop its commercial lease in phases. If you plan to construct your project in phases, you mustfollow the regulatory requirements for a COP submission, and you should provide a scheduledetailing the timeline for subsequent phased development.Initial COP Submission – Required Data and InformationTo facilitate BOEM’s review of your Phase 1 project proposal, your initial COP submissionshould include all of the information necessary for BOEM to conduct thorough environmentaland technical reviews of your Phase 1 project proposal. This includes the informationrequirements described in 30 CFR 585.626 and 627 for the proposed Phase 1 project and projectarea.BOEM recommends that your initial COP submission contain varying levels of data for theremaining portions of your lease area. Attachment F describes site characterization data BOEMrecommends that the lessee s