Feds will take more time to study Energy Corridor comments
Corridor will cross public and private land across 11 states
December 20, 2006
Bureau of Land Management - Wyoming:
After receiving hundreds of comments in response to the release of preliminary working maps, the interagency team analyzing potential environmental effects of designating energy corridors in 11 Western States has decided that additional time will be needed to consider these comments as the agencies conduct an environmental review of proposed corridor locations.
In order to ensure full consideration of the more than 200 comments and suggestions on the preliminary maps, project managers from the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Agriculture-Forest Service, and the Department of Defense will take additional time to refine the alternatives to be presented in the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).
The BLM and the Forest Service also must ensure that proposed routes and the analysis of their impacts are consistent with the resource management plans for lands they manage. The public will have an additional opportunity to comment on the Draft PEIS after it is published.
In consultation with Indian Tribes, States, local governments and the public, the four agencies are preparing the PEIS to implement Section 368 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which calls for designation of energy corridors on Federal lands in 11 Western States for oil, natural gas, and hydrogen pipelines and electricity transmission and distribution facilities. The Act also sets a timeframe for completing the PEIS and land-use plan amendments.
Corridors designated through this process will represent preferred locations for pipelines and electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure in the West. Future projects proposed for these corridors will undergo further environmental review before necessary permits and rights-of-way would be granted.
Details about the PEIS and opportunities for public involvement in the designation are available on the project website, http://corridoreis.anl.gov
Editorís Note - Background:
Section 368 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (the Act), Public Law 109-58 (H.R. 6), enacted August 8, 2005, directs the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, and the Interior (the Agencies) to designate under their respective authorities 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). The Agencies have determined that designating corridors as required by Section 368 of the Act constitutes a major federal action that may have a significant impact upon the environment within the meaning of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). For this reason, the Agencies intend to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) entitled "Designation of Energy Corridors on federal land in 11 Western States" (DOE/EIS-0386) to address the environmental impacts from the Proposed Action and the range of reasonable alternatives. The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will be co-lead Agencies for this effort, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service (USFS) and the Department of Defense (DoD) participating as cooperating Agencies.
The United States Department of Energy, the United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, and United States Department of Defense (the Agencies) will prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to evaluate issues associated with the designation of energy corridors on federal lands in eleven Western states. Based upon the information and analyses developed in this PEIS, each agency will amend its respective land use plans by designating a series of energy corridors.
See our recent articles on Eminent Domain as an interrelated topic on how these energy corridors impact private landowners and private property rights across these 11 states in order cross the private land portion between public lands involved.