Each year, thousands of individuals and companies apply to the BLM to obtain a Right-of-Way (ROW) on public lands. A ROW grant is an authorization to use a specific piece of land for a certain purpose or project, for a specific period of time.
Energy transport projects such as oil pipelines, natural gas pipelines, and power transmission lines are processed as Right-of-Way (ROW) applications. Wind and solar energy projects proposed for public lands also use ROWs. Communications towers for cellphone, broadband, microwave, and broadcast on public lands use ROWs.
Careful advance planning and coordination with BLM staff can help avert problems and unnecessary, costly delays. BLM realty specialists handle ROW cases under customer service standards written into program regulations to ensure that ROW applications are processed expeditiously while also protecting the resource values found on the public lands. Contact the BLM and discuss your plans and know legal requirements for your particular case.
More Information on Right-of-Ways
BLM ROW Homepage | Frequently-Asked Questions
General Information | Pre-Application | Grant_Issuance
Grant_Administration | State Contacts
Forms | Links | Glossary | What's New
Oil and Gas
The BLM has announced a series of steps that will aid in orderly leasing and development of oil and gas resources while at the same time ensuring protection of other important resources on BLM-managed lands. The changes will result in more certainty for investors and industry, better value and better leasing decisions on behalf of taxpayers, and less controversy, fewer protests, and less money spent litigating leases offered.
Fees for drilling permit applications (November 2009)
The FY2010 Interior Appropriations bill, signed into law on October 30, 2009, directs the BLM to charge $6,500 for processing each new oil and gas drilling permit application (Application for Permit to Drill [APD]. The fee took effect November 2, 2009. The previous fee was $4,000 per APD. The money generated by APD fees constitutes a reimbursement to the U.S. Treasury for the estimated cost of processing new APDs.
More Information on Oil and Gas Leasing
Expression of Interest in Oil and Gas Leasing
Lease Sales 05/28/15 | Environmental Assessment
Non-competitive Lease Offers
Surety and Performance Bonds
Wind power generation uses turbines to capture the kinetic energy of wind currents and convert it into electrical power. Utility-scale turbines are mounted on towers 200 feet or more above the land surface, where winds are faster and there is less turbulence. Technological advances in turbine siting and design have increased their generating capacity while continuing to reduce their environmental impacts.
Because there are no emissions involved, wind energy's environmental impact per unit of electricity generated in significantly lower than that of other forms of power generation. In addition, wind energy is not subject to the same price fluctuations as natural gas and oil. Producing electric power using wind conserves natural gas and helps relieve price pressures on that resource.
The U.S. has about 21,000 MW of installed wind energy capacity. Projects with about 327 MW of capacity have been installed on lands on BLM-managed lands. Applications for up to 3,000 MW additional capacity are being processed in BLM offices nationwide.
The BLM processes wind energy development proposals as right-of-way (ROW) applications, through its Lands & Realty divisions. Realty specialists in BLM Field Offices are guided by the 2005 programmatic environmental impact statement on wind energy development and the Bureau's wind energy development policy.
China Mountain (Jarbidge Field Office)
The BLM began reviewing the proposed 425 MW China Mountain wind energy project in 2008 in an environmental impact statement (EIS) that analyzes the potential impacts of the project and identifies any conditions of approval or mitigation measures necessary to protect environmental, cultural or tribal resources. Of the approximately 30,700 acres in the project area, 15,300 acres are administered by the Jarbidge FO, and 4,700 acres are administered by the BLM field office in Wells, Nevada (Elko District).
The BLM has deferred a final decision on the project and suspended work on the Final EIS until the Idaho and Southwestern Montana Sub-regional Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Environmental Impact Statement and associated resource management plan amendments and Jarbidge Resource Management Plan revision are completed.
The BLM completed an environmental assessment (EA) for siting three meteorological (met) towers to measure wind in the area in October 2009.
Application for a Right-of-Way (SF-299; 563kb PDF)
> Pre-application: meeting encouraged
> Mail or fax completed form to the appropriate office
> How applications are processed
Fee Schedule for FLPMA and MLA Rights-of-Way
Wind Energy Plan of Development (POD) outline
BLM Visual Resource Management (VRM) website
BLM National Wind Energy program website
Westwide Energy Corridor Designation Programmatic EIS website
Corridors are the preferred locations for energy transport/transmission projects on Federal lands.