Section 1221(a) of EPAct 2005, which added section 216(h) to the Federal Power Act, stated that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is to coordinate all Federal authorizations and related environmental reviews needed for siting interstate electric transmission projects, including National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) reviews. The purpose of this coordination is to streamline agencies' review processes and avoid duplication among Federal agencies. Section 216(h) of the Federal Power Act authorizes DOE to coordinate Federal transmission facilities siting determinations for entities seeking permits, special use authorizations, certifications, opinions, or other approvals required under Federal law. On December 13, 2011, DOE published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for regulation implementing section 216(h). Comments on the proposed rule were originally due on January 27, 2012. The comment period was extended until February 27, 2012 to allow more time for the submission of comments.
Comments were received from:
- Clean Line Energy Partners
- Edison Electric Institute
- Ohio Power Siting Board
- Pathway Consulting Service, Inc. and Environmental Planning Strategies, Inc.
- Southern California Edison
- Transmission Access Policy Study Group
- Western Business Roundtable