Transforming Our Nation's Electric Grid Through Improved Siting, Permitting, and Review, 35539-35543 [2013-14132]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 113 / Wednesday, June 12, 2013 / Presidential Documents 35539 Presidential Documents Memorandum of June 7, 2013 Transforming Our Nation’s Electric Grid Through Improved Siting, Permitting, and Review Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies Our Nation’s electric transmission grid is the backbone of our economy, a key factor in future economic growth, and a critical component of our energy security. Countries that harness the power of clean, renewable energy will be best positioned to thrive in the global economy while protecting the environment and increasing prosperity. In order to ensure the growth of America’s clean energy economy and improve energy security, we must modernize and expand our electric transmission grid. Modernizing our grid will improve energy reliability and resiliency, allowing us to minimize power outages and manage cyber-security threats. By diversifying power sources and reducing congestion, a modernized grid will also create cost savings for consumers and spur economic growth. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PREDOCO2 Modernizing our Nation’s electric transmission grid requires improvements in how transmission lines are sited, permitted, and reviewed. As part of our efforts to improve the performance of Federal siting, permitting, and review processes for infrastructure development, my Administration created a Rapid Response Team for Transmission (RRTT), a collaborative effort involving nine different executive departments and agencies (agencies), which is working to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of transmission siting, permitting, and review, increase interagency coordination and transparency, and increase the predictability of the siting, permitting, and review processes. In furtherance of Executive Order 13604 of March 22, 2012 (Improving Performance of Federal Permitting and Review of Infrastructure Projects), this memorandum builds upon the work of the RRTT to improve the Federal siting, permitting, and review processes for transmission projects. Because a single project may cross multiple governmental jurisdictions over hundreds of miles, robust collaboration among Federal, State, local, and tribal governments must be a critical component of this effort. An important avenue to improve these processes is the designation of energy right-of-way corridors (energy corridors) on Federal lands. Section 368 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (the ‘‘Act’’) (42 U.S.C. 15926), requires the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, and the Interior (Secretaries) to undertake a continued effort to identify and designate such energy corridors. Energy corridors include areas on Federal lands that are most suitable for siting transmission projects because the chosen areas minimize regulatory conflicts and impacts on environmental and cultural resources, and also address concerns of local communities. Designated energy corridors provide an opportunity to co-locate projects and share environmental and cultural resource impact data to reduce overall impacts on environmental and cultural resources and reduce the need for land use plan amendments in support of the authorization of transmission rightsof-way. The designation of energy corridors can help expedite the siting, permitting, and review processes for projects within such corridors, as well as improve the predictability and transparency of these processes. Pursuant to the Act, in 2009, the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture each designated energy corridors for the 11 contiguous Western States, as defined in section 368 of the Act. Energy corridors have not yet been designated VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:34 Jun 11, 2013 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\12JNO2.SGM 12JNO2 35540 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 113 / Wednesday, June 12, 2013 / Presidential Documents in States other than those identified as Western States. It is important that agencies build on their existing efforts in a coordinated manner. By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following: Section 1. Principles for Establishing Energy Corridors. (a) In carrying out the requirements of this memorandum regarding energy corridors, the Secretaries shall: (i) collaborate with Member Agencies of the Steering Committee on Federal Infrastructure Permitting and Review Process Improvement (Steering Committee), established by Executive Order 13604, which shall provide prompt and adequate information to ensure that additional corridor designations and revisions are consistent with the statutory responsibilities and activities of the Member Agencies and enable timely actions by the Secretaries; (ii) focus on facilitating renewable energy resources and improving grid resiliency and comply with the requirements in section 368 of the Act, by ensuring that energy corridors address the need for upgraded and new electric transmission and distribution facilities to improve reliability, relieve congestion, and enhance the capability of the national grid to deliver electricity; (iii) use integrated project planning and consult with other Federal agencies, State, local, and tribal governments, non-governmental organizations, and the public early in the process of designating the energy corridors, so as to avoid resource conflicts to the extent practicable and make strategic decisions to balance policy priorities; (iv) collaborate with State, local, and tribal governments to ensure, to the extent practicable, that energy corridors can connect effectively between Federal lands; (v) minimize the proliferation of dispersed and duplicative rights-of-way crossing Federal lands while acting consistent with subsection (a)(ii) of this section; (vi) design energy corridors to minimize impacts on environmental and cultural resources to the extent practicable, including impacts that may occur outside the boundaries of Federal lands, and minimize impacts on the Nation’s aviation system and the mission of the Armed Forces; and (vii) develop interagency mitigation plans, where appropriate, for environmental and cultural resources potentially impacted by projects sited in the energy corridors to provide project developers predictability on how to seek first to avoid, then attempt to minimize any negative effects from, and lastly to mitigate such impacts, where otherwise unavoidable. Mitigation plans shall: (A) be developed at the landscape or watershed scale with interagency collaboration, be based on conservation and resource management plans and regional environmental and cultural resource analyses, and identify priority areas for compensatory mitigation where appropriate; mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PREDOCO2 (B) be developed in consultation with other Federal agencies, State, local, and tribal governments, non-governmental organizations, and the public; (C) include clear and measurable mitigation goals, apply adaptive management methods, and use performance measures to evaluate outcomes and ensure accountability and the long-term effectiveness of mitigation activities; (D) include useful mechanisms, such as mitigation banks and in lieu fee programs, where appropriate for achieving statutory and regulatory goals; and (E) be considered in the energy corridor designation process. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:34 Jun 11, 2013 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\12JNO2.SGM 12JNO2 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 113 / Wednesday, June 12, 2013 / Presidential Documents 35541 (b) The Secretary of Energy shall assess and synthesize current research related to the requirements set forth in subsection (a)(ii) of this section, such as transmission planning authority studies, congestion studies, and renewable energy assessments. Based on that analysis, the Secretary of Energy shall provide to the Steering Committee a Transmission Corridor Assessment Report (Report) that provides recommendations on how to best achieve the requirements set forth in subsection (a)(ii) of this section. Where research is available, the Report shall include an assessment of whether investment in co-locating with or upgrading existing transmission facilities, distributed generation, improved energy efficiency, or demand response may play a role in meeting these requirements. In preparing the Report, the Secretary of Energy shall consult with Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, affected industries, environmental and community representatives, transmission planning authorities, and other interested parties. The Report shall be provided in two parts. The first part, which shall provide recommendations with respect to the Western States, shall be provided by December 1, 2013, and the second part, which shall provide recommendations with respect to States other than the Western States, shall be provided by April 1, 2014. Sec. 2. Energy Corridors for the Western States. (a) The Secretaries shall strongly encourage the use of designated energy corridors on Federal land in the Western States where the energy corridors are consistent with the requirements in this memorandum and other applicable requirements, unless it can be demonstrated that a project cannot be constructed within a designated corridor due to resource constraints on Federal lands. Additionally, the Secretaries, pursuant to section 368 of the Act, shall continue to evaluate designated energy corridors to determine the necessity for revisions, deletions, or additions to those energy corridors. Also, the Secretaries, coordinated by the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture, shall: (i) by July 12, 2013, provide to the Steering Committee a plan for producing the Western corridor study and regional corridor assessments (as specified in subsection (a)(ii) and (a)(iii) of this section), which shall include descriptions of timelines and milestones, existing resources to be utilized, plans for collaborating with Member Agencies, and plans for consulting with other Federal agencies, State, local, and tribal governments, affected industries, environmental and community representatives, and other interested parties; (ii) within 12 months of completion of the plan pursuant to subsection (a)(i) of this section, provide to the Steering Committee a Western corridor study, which shall assess the utility of the existing designated energy corridors; mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PREDOCO2 (iii) provide to the Steering Committee regional corridor assessments, which shall examine the need for additions, deletions, and revisions to the existing energy corridors for the Western States by region. The regional corridor assessments shall evaluate energy corridors based on the requirements set forth in subsection (a) of section 1, the Report issued pursuant to subsection (b) of section 1, and the Western corridor study. The regional corridor assessments shall be completed promptly, depending on resource availability, with at least the first assessment completed within 12 months of completion of the plan pursuant to subsection (a)(i) of this section; (iv) by November 12, 2014, provide to the Steering Committee and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) an implementation plan for achieving the requirements set forth in subsections (a)(v) and (a)(vi) of this section based on the regional corridor assessments. The implementation plan shall include timelines and milestones that prioritize coordinated agency actions and a detailed budget; (v) promptly after the completion of the regional corridor assessments and prioritized based on the availability of resources, undertake coordinated land use planning and environmental and cultural resource review processes to consider additions, deletions, or revisions to the current VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:34 Jun 11, 2013 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\12JNO2.SGM 12JNO2 35542 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 113 / Wednesday, June 12, 2013 / Presidential Documents Western energy corridors, consistent with the requirements set forth in subsection (a) of section 1, the Report required issued pursuant to subsection (b) of section 1, and the Western corridor study; and (vi) as appropriate, after completing the required environmental and cultural resource analyses, promptly incorporate the designated Western corridor additions, deletions, or revisions and any mitigation plans developed pursuant to subsection (a)(vii) of section 1 into relevant agency land use and resource management plans or equivalent plans prioritized based on the availability of resources. (b) The Member Agencies, where authorized, shall complete any required land use planning, internal policy, and interagency agreements to formalize the designation of energy corridors implemented pursuant to subsection (a)(vi) of this section. The Secretaries and Member Agencies shall also develop and implement a process for expediting applications for applicants whose projects are sited primarily within the designated energy corridors in the Western States, and who have committed to implement the necessary mitigation activities, including those required by the interagency mitigation plans required by subsection (a)(vii) of section 1. Sec. 3. Energy Corridors for the Non-Western States. The Secretaries, in collaboration with the Member Agencies, shall continue to analyze where energy corridors on Federal land in States other than those identified as Western States may be necessary to address the recommendations in the Report issued pursuant to subsection (b) of section 1 and the requirements set forth in subsection (a) of section 1, and to expedite the siting, permitting, and review of electric transmission projects on Federal lands in those States. By September 1, 2014, the Secretaries shall provide the Steering Committee with updated recommendations regarding designating energy corridors in those States. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PREDOCO2 Sec. 4. Improved Transmission Siting, Permitting, and Review Processes. (a) Member Agencies shall develop an integrated, interagency pre-application process for significant onshore electric transmission projects requiring Federal approval. The process shall be designed to: promote predictability in the Federal siting, permitting, and review processes; encourage early engagement, coordination, and collaboration of Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, non-governmental organizations, and the public; increase the use of integrated project planning early in the siting, permitting, and review processes; facilitate early identification of issues that could diminish the likelihood that projects will ultimately be permitted; promote early planning for integrated and strategic mitigation plans; expedite siting, permitting, and review processes through a mutual understanding of the needs of all affected Federal agencies and State, local, and tribal governments; and improve environmental and cultural outcomes. By September 30, 2013, Member Agencies shall provide to the Chief Performance Officer (CPO) and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality a plan, including timelines and milestones, for implementing this process. (b) In implementing Executive Order 13604, Member Agencies shall: (i) improve siting, permitting, and review processes for all electric transmission projects, both onshore and offshore, requiring Federal approval. Such improvements shall include: increasing efficiency and interagency coordination; increasing accountability; ensuring an efficient decision-making process within each agency; to the extent possible, unifying and harmonizing processes among agencies; improving consistency and transparency within each agency and among all agencies; improving environmental and cultural outcomes; providing mechanisms for early and frequent public and local community outreach; and enabling innovative mechanisms for mitigation and mitigation at the landscape or watershed scale; and (ii) facilitate coordination, integration, and harmonization of the siting, permitting, and review processes of Federal, State, local, and tribal governments for transmission projects to reduce the overall regulatory burden while improving environmental and cultural outcomes. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:34 Jun 11, 2013 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\12JNO2.SGM 12JNO2 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 113 / Wednesday, June 12, 2013 / Presidential Documents 35543 Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) The Secretaries and the Member Agencies shall coordinate the activities required by this memorandum with the Steering Committee and shall report to the Steering Committee their progress on meeting the milestones identified pursuant to this memorandum, consistent with the plans developed pursuant to sections 2 and 4 of this memorandum. The CPO shall report on the implementation of this memorandum in the report to the President submitted pursuant to section 2(e) of Executive Order 13604. (b) In carrying out their responsibilities under this memorandum, Member Agencies shall consult relevant independent agencies, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (c) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations. (d) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with Executive Order 13175 of November 6, 2000 (Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments) and my memorandum of November 5, 2009 (Tribal Consultation). (e) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect: (i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or (ii) the functions of the Director of OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals. (f) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person. (g) The Director of OMB is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register. THE WHITE HOUSE, Washington, June 7, 2013. Filed 6–11–13; 11:15 am] Billing code 3110–01 VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:34 Jun 11, 2013 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\12JNO2.SGM 12JNO2 OB#1.EPS</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PREDOCO2 [FR Doc. 2013–14132

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 113 (Wednesday, June 12, 2013)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 35539-35543]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-14132]




                        Presidential Documents 



Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 113 / Wednesday, June 12, 2013 / 
Presidential Documents

[[Page 35539]]


                Memorandum of June 7, 2013

                
Transforming Our Nation's Electric Grid Through 
                Improved Siting, Permitting, and Review

                Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and 
                Agencies

                Our Nation's electric transmission grid is the backbone 
                of our economy, a key factor in future economic growth, 
                and a critical component of our energy security. 
                Countries that harness the power of clean, renewable 
                energy will be best positioned to thrive in the global 
                economy while protecting the environment and increasing 
                prosperity. In order to ensure the growth of America's 
                clean energy economy and improve energy security, we 
                must modernize and expand our electric transmission 
                grid. Modernizing our grid will improve energy 
                reliability and resiliency, allowing us to minimize 
                power outages and manage cyber-security threats. By 
                diversifying power sources and reducing congestion, a 
                modernized grid will also create cost savings for 
                consumers and spur economic growth.

                Modernizing our Nation's electric transmission grid 
                requires improvements in how transmission lines are 
                sited, permitted, and reviewed. As part of our efforts 
                to improve the performance of Federal siting, 
                permitting, and review processes for infrastructure 
                development, my Administration created a Rapid Response 
                Team for Transmission (RRTT), a collaborative effort 
                involving nine different executive departments and 
                agencies (agencies), which is working to improve the 
                efficiency and effectiveness of transmission siting, 
                permitting, and review, increase interagency 
                coordination and transparency, and increase the 
                predictability of the siting, permitting, and review 
                processes. In furtherance of Executive Order 13604 of 
                March 22, 2012 (Improving Performance of Federal 
                Permitting and Review of Infrastructure Projects), this 
                memorandum builds upon the work of the RRTT to improve 
                the Federal siting, permitting, and review processes 
                for transmission projects. Because a single project may 
                cross multiple governmental jurisdictions over hundreds 
                of miles, robust collaboration among Federal, State, 
                local, and tribal governments must be a critical 
                component of this effort.

                An important avenue to improve these processes is the 
                designation of energy right-of-way corridors (energy 
                corridors) on Federal lands. Section 368 of the Energy 
                Policy Act of 2005 (the ``Act'') (42 U.S.C. 15926), 
                requires the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, 
                Defense, Energy, and the Interior (Secretaries) to 
                undertake a continued effort to identify and designate 
                such energy corridors. Energy corridors include areas 
                on Federal lands that are most suitable for siting 
                transmission projects because the chosen areas minimize 
                regulatory conflicts and impacts on environmental and 
                cultural resources, and also address concerns of local 
                communities. Designated energy corridors provide an 
                opportunity to co-locate projects and share 
                environmental and cultural resource impact data to 
                reduce overall impacts on environmental and cultural 
                resources and reduce the need for land use plan 
                amendments in support of the authorization of 
                transmission rights-of-way. The designation of energy 
                corridors can help expedite the siting, permitting, and 
                review processes for projects within such corridors, as 
                well as improve the predictability and transparency of 
                these processes. Pursuant to the Act, in 2009, the 
                Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture each 
                designated energy corridors for the 11 contiguous 
                Western States, as defined in section 368 of the Act. 
                Energy corridors have not yet been designated

[[Page 35540]]

                in States other than those identified as Western 
                States. It is important that agencies build on their 
                existing efforts in a coordinated manner.

                By the authority vested in me as President by the 
                Constitution and the laws of the United States of 
                America, I hereby direct the following:

                Section 1. Principles for Establishing Energy 
                Corridors. (a) In carrying out the requirements of this 
                memorandum regarding energy corridors, the Secretaries 
                shall:

(i) collaborate with Member Agencies of the Steering Committee on Federal 
Infrastructure Permitting and Review Process Improvement (Steering 
Committee), established by Executive Order 13604, which shall provide 
prompt and adequate information to ensure that additional corridor 
designations and revisions are consistent with the statutory 
responsibilities and activities of the Member Agencies and enable timely 
actions by the Secretaries;

(ii) focus on facilitating renewable energy resources and improving grid 
resiliency and comply with the requirements in section 368 of the Act, by 
ensuring that energy corridors address the need for upgraded and new 
electric transmission and distribution facilities to improve reliability, 
relieve congestion, and enhance the capability of the national grid to 
deliver electricity;

(iii) use integrated project planning and consult with other Federal 
agencies, State, local, and tribal governments, non-governmental 
organizations, and the public early in the process of designating the 
energy corridors, so as to avoid resource conflicts to the extent 
practicable and make strategic decisions to balance policy priorities;

(iv) collaborate with State, local, and tribal governments to ensure, to 
the extent practicable, that energy corridors can connect effectively 
between Federal lands;

(v) minimize the proliferation of dispersed and duplicative rights-of-way 
crossing Federal lands while acting consistent with subsection (a)(ii) of 
this section;

(vi) design energy corridors to minimize impacts on environmental and 
cultural resources to the extent practicable, including impacts that may 
occur outside the boundaries of Federal lands, and minimize impacts on the 
Nation's aviation system and the mission of the Armed Forces; and

(vii) develop interagency mitigation plans, where appropriate, for 
environmental and cultural resources potentially impacted by projects sited 
in the energy corridors to provide project developers predictability on how 
to seek first to avoid, then attempt to minimize any negative effects from, 
and lastly to mitigate such impacts, where otherwise unavoidable. 
Mitigation plans shall:

  (A) be developed at the landscape or watershed scale with interagency 
collaboration, be based on conservation and resource management plans and 
regional environmental and cultural resource analyses, and identify 
priority areas for compensatory mitigation where appropriate;

  (B) be developed in consultation with other Federal agencies, State, 
local, and tribal governments, non-governmental organizations, and the 
public;

  (C) include clear and measurable mitigation goals, apply adaptive 
management methods, and use performance measures to evaluate outcomes and 
ensure accountability and the long-term effectiveness of mitigation 
activities;

  (D) include useful mechanisms, such as mitigation banks and in lieu fee 
programs, where appropriate for achieving statutory and regulatory goals; 
and

  (E) be considered in the energy corridor designation process.

[[Page 35541]]

                    (b) The Secretary of Energy shall assess and 
                synthesize current research related to the requirements 
                set forth in subsection (a)(ii) of this section, such 
                as transmission planning authority studies, congestion 
                studies, and renewable energy assessments. Based on 
                that analysis, the Secretary of Energy shall provide to 
                the Steering Committee a Transmission Corridor 
                Assessment Report (Report) that provides 
                recommendations on how to best achieve the requirements 
                set forth in subsection (a)(ii) of this section. Where 
                research is available, the Report shall include an 
                assessment of whether investment in co-locating with or 
                upgrading existing transmission facilities, distributed 
                generation, improved energy efficiency, or demand 
                response may play a role in meeting these requirements. 
                In preparing the Report, the Secretary of Energy shall 
                consult with Federal, State, local, and tribal 
                governments, affected industries, environmental and 
                community representatives, transmission planning 
                authorities, and other interested parties. The Report 
                shall be provided in two parts. The first part, which 
                shall provide recommendations with respect to the 
                Western States, shall be provided by December 1, 2013, 
                and the second part, which shall provide 
                recommendations with respect to States other than the 
                Western States, shall be provided by April 1, 2014.

                Sec. 2. Energy Corridors for the Western States. (a) 
                The Secretaries shall strongly encourage the use of 
                designated energy corridors on Federal land in the 
                Western States where the energy corridors are 
                consistent with the requirements in this memorandum and 
                other applicable requirements, unless it can be 
                demonstrated that a project cannot be constructed 
                within a designated corridor due to resource 
                constraints on Federal lands. Additionally, the 
                Secretaries, pursuant to section 368 of the Act, shall 
                continue to evaluate designated energy corridors to 
                determine the necessity for revisions, deletions, or 
                additions to those energy corridors. Also, the 
                Secretaries, coordinated by the Secretaries of the 
                Interior and Agriculture, shall:

(i) by July 12, 2013, provide to the Steering Committee a plan for 
producing the Western corridor study and regional corridor assessments (as 
specified in subsection (a)(ii) and (a)(iii) of this section), which shall 
include descriptions of timelines and milestones, existing resources to be 
utilized, plans for collaborating with Member Agencies, and plans for 
consulting with other Federal agencies, State, local, and tribal 
governments, affected industries, environmental and community 
representatives, and other interested parties;

(ii) within 12 months of completion of the plan pursuant to subsection 
(a)(i) of this section, provide to the Steering Committee a Western 
corridor study, which shall assess the utility of the existing designated 
energy corridors;

(iii) provide to the Steering Committee regional corridor assessments, 
which shall examine the need for additions, deletions, and revisions to the 
existing energy corridors for the Western States by region. The regional 
corridor assessments shall evaluate energy corridors based on the 
requirements set forth in subsection (a) of section 1, the Report issued 
pursuant to subsection (b) of section 1, and the Western corridor study. 
The regional corridor assessments shall be completed promptly, depending on 
resource availability, with at least the first assessment completed within 
12 months of completion of the plan pursuant to subsection (a)(i) of this 
section;

(iv) by November 12, 2014, provide to the Steering Committee and the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB) an implementation plan for achieving the 
requirements set forth in subsections (a)(v) and (a)(vi) of this section 
based on the regional corridor assessments. The implementation plan shall 
include timelines and milestones that prioritize coordinated agency actions 
and a detailed budget;

(v) promptly after the completion of the regional corridor assessments and 
prioritized based on the availability of resources, undertake coordinated 
land use planning and environmental and cultural resource review processes 
to consider additions, deletions, or revisions to the current

[[Page 35542]]

Western energy corridors, consistent with the requirements set forth in 
subsection (a) of section 1, the Report required issued pursuant to 
subsection (b) of section 1, and the Western corridor study; and

(vi) as appropriate, after completing the required environmental and 
cultural resource analyses, promptly incorporate the designated Western 
corridor additions, deletions, or revisions and any mitigation plans 
developed pursuant to subsection (a)(vii) of section 1 into relevant agency 
land use and resource management plans or equivalent plans prioritized 
based on the availability of resources.

                    (b) The Member Agencies, where authorized, shall 
                complete any required land use planning, internal 
                policy, and interagency agreements to formalize the 
                designation of energy corridors implemented pursuant to 
                subsection (a)(vi) of this section. The Secretaries and 
                Member Agencies shall also develop and implement a 
                process for expediting applications for applicants 
                whose projects are sited primarily within the 
                designated energy corridors in the Western States, and 
                who have committed to implement the necessary 
                mitigation activities, including those required by the 
                interagency mitigation plans required by subsection 
                (a)(vii) of section 1.

                Sec. 3. Energy Corridors for the Non-Western States. 
                The Secretaries, in collaboration with the Member 
                Agencies, shall continue to analyze where energy 
                corridors on Federal land in States other than those 
                identified as Western States may be necessary to 
                address the recommendations in the Report issued 
                pursuant to subsection (b) of section 1 and the 
                requirements set forth in subsection (a) of section 1, 
                and to expedite the siting, permitting, and review of 
                electric transmission projects on Federal lands in 
                those States. By September 1, 2014, the Secretaries 
                shall provide the Steering Committee with updated 
                recommendations regarding designating energy corridors 
                in those States.

                Sec. 4. Improved Transmission Siting, Permitting, and 
                Review Processes. (a) Member Agencies shall develop an 
                integrated, interagency pre-application process for 
                significant onshore electric transmission projects 
                requiring Federal approval. The process shall be 
                designed to: promote predictability in the Federal 
                siting, permitting, and review processes; encourage 
                early engagement, coordination, and collaboration of 
                Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, non-
                governmental organizations, and the public; increase 
                the use of integrated project planning early in the 
                siting, permitting, and review processes; facilitate 
                early identification of issues that could diminish the 
                likelihood that projects will ultimately be permitted; 
                promote early planning for integrated and strategic 
                mitigation plans; expedite siting, permitting, and 
                review processes through a mutual understanding of the 
                needs of all affected Federal agencies and State, 
                local, and tribal governments; and improve 
                environmental and cultural outcomes.

                By September 30, 2013, Member Agencies shall provide to 
                the Chief Performance Officer (CPO) and the Chair of 
                the Council on Environmental Quality a plan, including 
                timelines and milestones, for implementing this 
                process.

                    (b) In implementing Executive Order 13604, Member 
                Agencies shall:

(i) improve siting, permitting, and review processes for all electric 
transmission projects, both onshore and offshore, requiring Federal 
approval. Such improvements shall include: increasing efficiency and 
interagency coordination; increasing accountability; ensuring an efficient 
decision-making process within each agency; to the extent possible, 
unifying and harmonizing processes among agencies; improving consistency 
and transparency within each agency and among all agencies; improving 
environmental and cultural outcomes; providing mechanisms for early and 
frequent public and local community outreach; and enabling innovative 
mechanisms for mitigation and mitigation at the landscape or watershed 
scale; and

(ii) facilitate coordination, integration, and harmonization of the siting, 
permitting, and review processes of Federal, State, local, and tribal 
governments for transmission projects to reduce the overall regulatory 
burden while improving environmental and cultural outcomes.

[[Page 35543]]

                Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) The Secretaries and the 
                Member Agencies shall coordinate the activities 
                required by this memorandum with the Steering Committee 
                and shall report to the Steering Committee their 
                progress on meeting the milestones identified pursuant 
                to this memorandum, consistent with the plans developed 
                pursuant to sections 2 and 4 of this memorandum. The 
                CPO shall report on the implementation of this 
                memorandum in the report to the President submitted 
                pursuant to section 2(e) of Executive Order 13604.

                    (b) In carrying out their responsibilities under 
                this memorandum, Member Agencies shall consult relevant 
                independent agencies, including the Federal Energy 
                Regulatory Commission.
                    (c) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent 
                with applicable law and subject to the availability of 
                appropriations.
                    (d) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent 
                with Executive Order 13175 of November 6, 2000 
                (Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal 
                Governments) and my memorandum of November 5, 2009 
                (Tribal Consultation).
                    (e) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed 
                to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or 
the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of OMB relating to budgetary, 
administrative, or legislative proposals.

                    (f) This memorandum is not intended to, and does 
                not, create any right or benefit, substantive or 
                procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any 
                party against the United States, its departments, 
                agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or 
                agents, or any other person.
                    (g) The Director of OMB is hereby authorized and 
                directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal 
                Register.
                
                
                    (Presidential Sig.)

                THE WHITE HOUSE,

                    Washington, June 7, 2013.

[FR Doc. 2013-14132
Filed 6-11-13; 11:15 am]
Billing code 3110-01