The White House and eight federal agencies are taking several steps to simplify and speed up the permitting process for constructing electricity transmission lines on federal lands.
The current process is cumbersome and time-consumingâ€”it can take two to five years now, and even longer. There is no single agency in charge of ensuring that permit applications get through a complicated process that several agencies will touch. Also, under the current system, all agencies involved review the applications one after the other.
The overhaul of the permit process will include establishing a single agency as the lead, which will be accountable for the other agencies completing their reviews in a timely manner and reducing bureaucratic obstacles. Also, the reviewing agencies will conduct their assessments concurrently.
The agreement, officially a memorandum of understanding, took effect this month. The agencies involved are the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy and Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and Council on Environmental Quality.
Government Executive news article
Transmission resources on SGN