On October 5, 2011, the Obama Administration announced that it would “accelerate” permitting and construction of seven proposed electric transmission lines. These projects will serve as pilot demonstrations of streamlined processes and increased cooperation among federal, state and tribal authorities. These streamlined projects are also intended to create jobs in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Wisconsin.
The recently-formed Rapid Response Team for Transmission (“RRTT”), which includes the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, will work together. These agencies will: (1) coordinate statutory permitting, review and consultation schedules and processes among federal and state agencies through Integrated Federal Planning; (2) apply a uniform and consistent approach to consultations with Tribal governments; and (3) expeditiously resolve interagency conflicts and ensure that all involved agencies are fully engaged and meeting schedules.
The seven pilot projects are:
- Boardman-Hemingway Line (Oregon and Idaho);
- Gateway West Project (Wyoming and Idaho);
- Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse Line (Minnesota and Wisconsin);
- Cascade Crossing Line (Oregon);
- SunZia Transmission, LLC (New Mexico and Arizona); and
- Susquehanna to Roseland Line (Pennsylvania and New Jersey).
A copy of the White House press release is available here.
For detailed information on the seven pilot projects, click here.