42 U.S. Code § 15928 - Consultation regarding energy rights-of-way on public land

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(a) Memorandum of understanding
(1) In general
Not later than 6 months after August 8, 2005, the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of Defense with respect to lands under their respective jurisdictions, shall enter into a memorandum of understanding to coordinate all applicable Federal authorizations and environmental reviews relating to a proposed or existing utility facility. To the maximum extent practicable under applicable law, the Secretary of Energy shall, to ensure timely review and permit decisions, coordinate such authorizations and reviews with any Indian tribes, multi-State entities, and State agencies that are responsible for conducting any separate permitting and environmental reviews of the affected utility facility.
(2) Contents
The memorandum of understanding shall include provisions that—
(A) establish—
(i) a unified right-of-way application form; and
(ii) an administrative procedure for processing right-of-way applications, including lines of authority, steps in application processing, and timeframes for application processing;
(B) provide for coordination of planning relating to the granting of the rights-of-way;
(C) provide for an agreement among the affected Federal agencies to prepare a single environmental review document to be used as the basis for all Federal authorization decisions; and
(D) provide for coordination of use of right-of-way stipulations to achieve consistency.
(b) Natural gas pipelines
(1) In general
With respect to permitting activities for interstate natural gas pipelines, the May 2002 document entitled “Interagency Agreement On Early Coordination Of Required Environmental And Historic Preservation Reviews Conducted In Conjunction With The Issuance Of Authorizations To Construct And Operate Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines Certificated By The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission” shall constitute compliance with subsection (a).
(2) Report
(A) In general
Not later than 1 year after August 8, 2005, and every 2 years thereafter, agencies that are signatories to the document referred to in paragraph (1) shall transmit to Congress a report on how the agencies under the jurisdiction of the Secretaries are incorporating and implementing the provisions of the document referred to in paragraph (1).
(B) Contents
The report shall address—
(i) efforts to implement the provisions of the document referred to in paragraph (1);
(ii) whether the efforts have had a streamlining effect;
(iii) further improvements to the permitting process of the agency; and
(iv) recommendations for inclusion of State and tribal governments in a coordinated permitting process.
(c) Definition of utility facility
In this section, the term “utility facility” means any privately, publicly, or cooperatively owned line, facility, or system—
(1) for the transportation of—
(A) oil, natural gas, synthetic liquid fuel, or gaseous fuel;
(B) any refined product produced from oil, natural gas, synthetic liquid fuel, or gaseous fuel; or
(C) products in support of the production of material referred to in subparagraph (A) or (B);
(2) for storage and terminal facilities in connection with the production of material referred to in paragraph (1); or
(3) for the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric energy.

Source

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, § 372,Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 734.)

 

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