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Habitats Regulations Appraisal of Draft Plan for Offshore Wind Energy in Scottish Territorial Waters: Appropriate Assessment Information Review

DescriptionHabitats Regulations Appraisal of Draft Plan for Offshore Wind Energy in Scottish Territorial Waters: Appropriate Assessment Information Review
ISBN978 1 78045 060
Official Print Publication DateMarch 2011
Website Publication DateMarch 08, 2011

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ISBN 978 1 78045 060 5 (Web only publication)
DPPAS 11359

This document is also available in pdf format: Appropriate Assessment Information Review - Main text (2.6mb) Figures (7mb) Appendix A (463k) Appendix B (2.2mb) Appendix C (26.4mb) Appendix D (799k) Appendix E (1.1mb) Appendix F (238k)

Contents

Summary

Abbreviations

1. Introduction
1.1 Draft Offshore Wind Energy ( OWE) Plan
1.2 Legislative Context and Project Approach
1.3 Current Understanding about Plan Activities
1.4 Report Structure

2. Screening and Assessment Approach
2.1 HRA Stages 4 and 5 - Methods for Screening
2.1.1 Habitats
2.1.2 Birds
2.1.3 Marine Mammals
2.1.4 Anadromous Fish and Freshwater Pearl Mussel
2.1.5 Otter
2.2 HRA Stages 6 and 7 - Approach to Mitigation Measures and Re-Screening
2.3 HRA Stages 8 to 10 - Methods for Assessment
2.3.1 Key Stages of the Assessment Process
2.3.2 Step 1: Identify European/Ramsar Sites and Features to be Considered
2.3.3 Step 2: Review Interest Feature Sensitivities
2.3.4 Step 3: Review Draft OWE Plan Activities to Which Features are Sensitive
2.3.5 Step 4: Assessment of Draft OWE Plan Effects on European/Ramsar Sites

3. Results of Screening Review ( HRA Stages 4 to 7)
3.1 Pre-Screening ( HRA Stages 4 and 5)
3.2 Re-Screening Following Mitigation ( HRA Stages 6 and 7)

4. Potential for Adverse Effects on Habitat Features
4.1 European/Ramsar Sites and Features to be Considered
4.1.1 Interest Features Summary
4.2 Sensitivities of Habitat Interest Features to Draft OWE Plan Activities
4.2.1 Physical Loss/Gain of Habitat
4.2.2 Physical Damage to Habitats or Species (inc. from hydrodynamic change)
4.2.3 Toxic Contamination
4.2.4 Biological Disturbance
4.2.5 Estuaries
4.2.6 Reefs
4.2.7 Subtidal Sandbanks
4.2.8 Intertidal Habitats (including saltmarshes)
4.2.9 Supralittoral Habitats
4.3 Potential Effects on Designated Sites of the Draft OWE Plan
4.3.1 Introduction
4.3.2 Conservation Objectives
4.3.3 Environmental Effects

5. Potential for Adverse Effects on Bird Features
5.1 European/Ramsar Sites and Features to be Considered
5.1.1 Interest Features Summary
5.2 Sensitivities of Bird Interest Features to Draft OWE Plan Activities
5.2.1 Physical Loss/Gain of Habitat
5.2.2 Physical Damage to Species
5.2.3 Non-Physical Disturbance
5.2.4 Birds
5.3 Potential Effects on Designated Sites of the Draft OWE Plan
5.3.1 Introduction
5.3.2 Conservation Objectives
5.3.3 Environmental Effects

6. Potential for Adverse Effects on Marine Mammal Features
6.1 European/Ramsar Sites and Features to be Considered
6.1.1 Interest Features Summary
6.2 Sensitivities of Marine Mammal Interest Features to Draft OWE Plan Activities
6.2.1 Physical Loss/Gain of Habitat
6.2.2 Physical Damage to Species
6.2.3 Non-Physical Disturbance
6.2.4 Toxic Contamination
6.2.5 Non-Toxic Contamination
6.2.6 Pinnipeds
6.2.7 Cetaceans
6.3 Potential Effects on Designated Sites of the Draft OWE Plan
6.3.1 Introduction
6.3.2 Conservation Objectives
6.3.3 Environmental Effects

7. Potential for Adverse Effects on Anadromous Fish and Freshwater Pearl Mussel Features
7.1 European/Ramsar Sites and Features to be Considered
7.1.1 Interest Features Summary
7.2 Sensitivities of Fish Interest Features to Draft OWE Plan Activities
7.2.1 Physical Loss/Gain of Habitat
7.2.2 Non-Physical Disturbance
7.2.3 Toxic Contamination
7.2.4 Non-Toxic Contamination
7.2.5 Atlantic Salmon, Sea Lamprey and River Lamprey
7.2.6 Allis and Twaite Shad
7.3 Potential Effects on Designated Sites of the Draft OWE Plan
7.3.1 Introduction
7.3.2 Conservation Objectives
7.3.3 Environmental Effects

8. Potential for Adverse Effects on the Otter Feature
8.1 European/Ramsar Sites and Features to be Considered
8.1.1 Interest Features Summary
8.2 Sensitivities of the Otter Interest Feature to Draft OWE Plan Activities
8.2.1 Physical Damage to Habitats or Species
8.2.2 Non-Physical Disturbance
8.2.3 Otter
8.3 Potential Effects on Designated Sites of the Draft OWE Plan
8.3.1 Introduction
8.3.2 Conservation Objectives
8.3.3 Environmental Effects

9. Conclusion
9.1 Plan Impact Evaluation and Mitigation Requirements
9.2 Cumulative and In-Combination Impacts
9.3 Iterative Plan Review and Project-level HRA Requirements
9.3.1 Iterative Plan Review
9.3.2 Project-level HRA Requirements
9.4 Key Considerations

10. References

Appendices
A. Pre-Screening Tables A1 to A4 Updated to Include Screening Results and Initial and Additional Mitigation Measures
B. Screening Schedule Tables for Each of the 34 Short-term and Medium-term Option Areas
C. Screening Maps for Each of the 34 Short-term and Medium-term Option Areas
D. Seabird Foraging and Migratory Baseline Review for the Draft OWE Plan HRA
E. Marine Mammal and Otter Baseline Review for the Draft OWE Plan HRA
F. Anadromous Fish Baseline Review for the Draft OWE Plan HRA

Tables
S1. Screening summary showing the number of sites included and excluded from assessment
1. Short and medium-term options for offshore wind energy
2. Further sites screened in and out at plan level at Stage 5 screening (after pre-screening study)
3. Potential sensitivities of reef features to the Draft OWE Plan
4. Potential sensitivities of sandbank features to the Draft OWE Plan
5. Potential sensitivities of intertidal habitats to the Draft OWE Plan
6. Potential sensitivities of supralittoral habitat to the Draft OWE Plan
7. Assessment of the potential effects of the Draft OWE Plan on the habitat features of relevant European/Ramsar sites
8. Breeding/foraging parameters of breeding seabirds which influence sensitivities
9. Potential sensitivities of bird interest features to the Draft OWE Plan
10. Assessment of the potential effects of the Draft OWE Plan on the bird features of relevant European/Ramsar sites

11. Criteria suggested for the effects of underwater noise on marine mammals and fish
12. Summary of research on the spatial extent of piling noise impacts on marine mammals
13. Prey species commonly consumed by the marine mammals around Scotland and the North Sea
14. Potential sensitivities of seal interest features from the Draft OWE Plan
15. Potential sensitivities of cetacean features from the Draft OWE Plan
16. Assessment of the potential effects of the Draft OWE Plan on the marine mammal features of relevant European sites
17. Criteria suggested for the effects of underwater noise on marine mammals and fish
18. Potential sensitivities of Atlantic salmon and lamprey features from the Draft OWE Plan
19. Potential sensitivities of shad features from the Draft OWE Plan
20. Assessment of the potential effects of the Draft OWE Plan on the fish features of relevant European sites
21. Potential sensitivities of the otter feature from the Draft OWE Plan
22. Assessment of the potential effects of the Draft OWE Plan on the otter interest feature

Images
1. Key stages of HRA process for plans
2. Westerly oriented flight trajectories during the initial operation of the wind turbines at Nysted Offshore Wind Farm

Figures
1. Location of the Short & Medium-term option areas for Offshore Wind Energy draft plan
2. Tidal Ellipse Mapping used to Identify the Spatial Extent of Indirect Habitat and Water Quality Effects
3. Extent of the Proposed North Sea ( NS) Management Unit that was used for Screening Moray Firth Bottlenose Dolphin Qualifying Interests
4. Location and Extent of Coastal Regions to be used for Screening Anadromous Fish Qualifying Interests.
5a. Location of SPA and Ramsar Sites Supporting Seabirds with Maximum Foraging Distances of >100km - Atlantic Puffin (200km)
5b. Location of SPA and Ramsar Sites Supporting Seabirds with Maximum Foraging Distances of >100km - Black-legged Kittiwake (200km)
5c. Location of SPA and Ramsar Sites Supporting Seabirds with Maximum Foraging Distances of >100km - Common Guillemot (200km)
5d. Location of SPA and Ramsar Sites Supporting Seabirds with Maximum Foraging Distances of >100km - Common Scoter (200km)
5e. Location of SPA and Ramsar Sites Supporting Seabirds with Maximum Foraging Distances of >100km - Manx Shearwater (400km)
5f. Location of SPA and Ramsar Sites Supporting Seabirds with Maximum Foraging Distances of >100km - Northern Fulmar (664km)
5g. Location of SPA and Ramsar Sites Supporting Seabirds with Maximum Foraging Distances of >100km - Northern Gannet (640km)

Date: January 2011
Project Ref: R/3974/1
Report No: R.1722c
© ABP Marine Environmental Research Ltd

Version

Details of Change

Authorised By

Date

1

Draft

Colin Scott

10/1210

2

Final Draft

Colin Scott

11/01/11

3

Final

Colin Scott

21/01/11

Document

Authorisation

Signature

Date

Project Manager:

C R Scott

C R Scott signature

21/01/11

Quality Manager:

E San Martin

E San Martin signature

21/01/11

Project Director:

S C Hull

S C Hull signature

21/01/11

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