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Improving Performance of Federal Permitting and Review of Infrastructure Projects

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, in collaboration with the Member Agencies of the Steering Committee (Member Agencies) created under Executive Order 13604 of March 22, 2012, and pursuant to the June 7, 2013 Transmission Presidential Memorandum, is seeking public input on a draft Integrated, Interagency Pre-Application (IIP) Process. The proposed IIP Process is intended to improve interagency and intergovernmental coordination focused on ensuring that project proponents develop and submit accurate and complete information early in the project planning process to facilitate efficient and timely environmental reviews and agency decisions.

The draft Process and supplementary information are available in the Request for Information  that was published in the Federal Register on August 29, 2013. A second notice was published in the Federal Register on September 25, 2013, announcing that the comment period has been extended. Comments must be received on or before October 31, 2013. As comments are received, they are being posted online.

Background Information

Modernizing the nation's electric transmission grid requires improvements in how transmission lines are sited, permitted, and reviewed. As part of its efforts to improve the performance of Federal siting, permitting, and review processes for infrastructure development, the Administration created a Rapid Response Team for Transmission (RRTT), a collaborative effort involving nine executive departments and agencies. The RRTT is working to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and predictability of transmission siting, permitting, and review processes, in part through increasing interagency coordination and transparency. An integrated pre-application process is one potential method to achieve these goals and to increase the predictability of the siting, permitting, and review processes.

On March 22, 2012, the President issued Executive Order 13604. “Improving Performance of Federal Permitting and Review of Infrastructure Projects” that directed all Federal agencies to “take all steps within their authority, consistent with available resources, to execute Federal permitting and review processes with maximum efficiency and effectiveness, ensuring the health, safety, and security of communities and the environment while supporting vital economic growth.” Following on that Order, the President issued a Memorandum on May 17, 2013 that discussed agency best practices identified as a result of Executive Order 13604. On June 7, 2013, the President issued another Memorandum. directing Federal agencies to “develop an integrated, interagency pre-application process for significant onshore electric transmission projects requiring Federal approval.”