Maryland Offshore Energy Framework

James McElfish, Daniel Schramm, and Adam Schempp
Date Released
September 2009
Maryland Offshore Energy Framework

ELI’s Oceans and Land & Biodiversity staff analyze the tools available to Maryland’s Coastal Zone Management Program to address new energy activities in state and federal coastal waters. The report assesses Maryland’s existing laws and policies, interstate agreements, and federal laws, and identifies potential measures that can help Maryland create an Offshore Energy Framework. Among its recommendations are that Maryland form an interagency council to develop policy on offshore energy activities, and that it launch an offshore alternative energy task force under the 2009 federal Minerals Management Service rules to guide research and decisionmaking that may affect leasing of Outer Continental Shelf lands for wind energy. The report also supports marine spatial planning for the uses of federal and state waters off the Atlantic shore. The report makes recommendations relating to protection of submerged lands, aquatic and avian resources, coastal lands, wetlands, and electric power review and regulation.

The report provides information relevant for other states and for policymakers interested in offshore energy activities, including oil and gas exploration and drilling on the outer continental shelf; offshore wind energy; liquefied natural gas facilities; and algal biomass facilities.

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