Section 368 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 directs the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, and the Interior to designate corridors on federal land in 11 western states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) for oil, gas, and hydrogen pipelines and electricity transmission and distribution facilities (energy corridors).
Section 368 requires the agencies to conduct any "environmental reviews" necessary to complete the designation of Section 368 energy corridors. The Section 368 energy corridors are not to result in any direct impacts on the human environment.
Here is a timeline of that effort and where the BLM is in the process:
July 7, 2009 -- Multiple organizations file a complaint challenging the record of decision.
Settlement Agreement for Section 368 Energy Corridors:
The settlement set forth five provisions with the objective of ensuring that future Section 368 Corridor revisions, deletions, and additions consider the following principles:
- Location of Section 368 Corridors in favorable landscapes
- Facilitation of renewable energy projects
- Avoidance of environmentally sensitive areas
- Limited proliferation of dispersed rights-of-way crossing the landscape
- Improvement of the long-term benefits of reliable and safe transmission.
The settlement also provides for public input and an open and transparent process with engagement by tribes, states, local governments, and other interested parties.
Settlement Agreement Highlights and Status:
BLM/Forest Service identify plaintiffs’ representatives to participate in Federal agency training involving right-of-way processing and corridor development by October 11, 2012:
- This was done. However, the 2012, 2013 and the initial 2014 courses were canceled because of budget issues. The National Lands Training for Line Managers and Program Leads (NLT Training) is scheduled for October 2014.
BLM/Forest Service/DOE complete Memorandum of Understanding by July 11, 2013:
BLM/Forest Service review and update guidance by July 11, 2013:
- BLM completed April 7, 2014 and Forest Service nearing completion
BLM/Forest Service review and update training by July 11, 2013:
BLM/Forest Service/DOE develop corridor study plan by July 11, 2013:
BLM/Forest Service/DOE complete study by July 11, 2014 and provide recommended corridor revisions, deletions or additions:
- In progress, BLM published a request for information on March 28, 2014. The comments period ended May 27, 2014. Funding has been obtained and the study is to begin shortly. Completion is projected by December 31, 2014.
Web links to detailed information:
West-wide Energy Corridor Programmatic EIS
For more information contact Stephen Fusilier at 202-912-7426 or firstname.lastname@example.org