Innovation, Reliabilty and Balanced Stewardship
Year Two Report: Section 365 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 - Pilot Project to Improve Federal Permit Coordination
O Executive Summary (1.2 MB PDF)
O Volume 1: Executive Summary + Full Report (2.8 MB PDF)
O Volume 2: Appendices (2.3 MB PDF)
During the second year of implementing the Pilot Project, the BLM and its federal and state agency partners improved reliability in providing industry the permits needed to develop domestic energy resources, and significantly improved environmental stewardship and mitigation of the impacts of energy development.
In Year Two, the seven Pilot Offices increasingly emphasized interagency collaboration to provide:
- better interagency communication on energy-related projects
- enhanced monitoring, protection, and conservation of other natural resources
- greater use of programmatic agreements utilizing best management practices (BMPs)
- quicker resolution of misunderstandings between agency and industry personnel.
Improved coordination between the agencies participating in the Pilot Project has resulted in reductions in the amount of time it takes for these agencies to review and consult on permit applications. The project-wide average time needed for completing NEPA review of permit applications decreased 25 percent in Year Two, from 81 days in FY 2006 to 61 days in FY 2007.
Substantial improvements in inspection and enforcement (I&E) are occurring in areas administered by Pilot Offices as environmental inspections are emphasized.
- Increased funding allowed hiring and training of additional staff for a substantially more productive I&E program. In FY 2007, the pilot offices performed 24 percent more inspections than in FY 2006 and 48 percent more than in FY 2005. The number of environmental inspections in FY 2007 was 78 percent higher than the previous year.
- More inspections have led to better compliance among operators, evidenced by a reduction in the number of major violations. The incidence of environmental violations was 12 percent lower in FY07 than in FY06, while technical violations were reduced 4.4 percent.
- Even as the number of inspections increased, the cost of the inspection program in FY 2007 was $1.2 million lower than in FY 2006.
Insights on remaining technical and environmental violations are being shared with industry through ongoing outreach, to help to reduce violations even further.