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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

Oregon / Washington

Pacific Northwest Regional Infrastructure Team

Interior Secretary Jewell, Oregon Governor Kitzhaber, BLM State Director Perez, and other partners sign the Pacific Northwest Regional Infrastructure Team declaration of cooperation, May 2013.
Interior Secretary Jewell, Oregon Governor Kitzhaber, BLM State Director Perez, and other partners sign the Pacific Northwest Regional Infrastructure Team declaration of cooperation, May 2013.

In May 2013, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Governors' Offices of Oregon and Washington entered in to an agreement to form a pilot Pacific Northwest Regional Infrastructure Team (PNWRIT). The Governor's Office of Idaho joined the team in September 2013. The main objectives behind the development of the team are to: advance infrastructure projects that spur job creation in communities; further energy independence for national security; manage climate change risk; build and upgrade necessary infrastructure to support the Nation's economy; and ensure environmental and natural resource stewardship.

The PNWRIT has specifically been convened to enhance the partnership between State and Federal agencies in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho to better align transmission, renewable energy, and other infrastructure siting and permitting processes where both State and Federal agency permitting and review responsibilities exist. Independently, the federal government and the state governments in the Region have been pursuing several initiatives with common goals. The PNWRIT provides a forum for federal and state agencies in the Region to advance common energy-related infrastructure development goals of those initiatives.

The PNWRIT Agreement specifies three categories of priorities that respond to the infrastructure needs of communities, States, and the Region:

  • specific infrastructure projects that are Federal, State, or regional priorities for economic growth and job creation and that enhanced coordination could demonstrate, if approved, on-the-ground results in infrastructure development;
  • pro-active solutions by collective, cross-agency and cross-jurisdictional leadership that respond to the long term vision of infrastructure development in each state and the Region and that help remove unnecessary barriers that generally prevent or slow infrastructure development; and
  • cross-agency or cross-jurisdictional mitigation opportunities in infrastructure projects that could provide more ecologically effective project mitigation strategies for species or natural resources at a unified, watershed, or ecosystem level, and more ecologically effective mitigation options.

Some of the projects in the Pacific Northwest include: the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Project and the Vantage to Pomona Heights Transmission Project.

The PNWRIT agreement called for an implementation plan and report by the end of Fiscal Year 2013 - September 30, 2013 - which is provided below.

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