Request for Information: West-Wide Energy Corridor Review, 17567-17569 [2014-06945]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 60 / Friday, March 28, 2014 / Notices Resort, (6 miles south of Hagerman), 18734 Hwy–30, Hagerman, ID 83332. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Heather Tiel-Nelson, Twin Falls District, Idaho, 2536 Kimberly Road, Twin Falls, Idaho, 83301, (208) 736– 2352. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The 15member RAC advises the Secretary of the Interior, through the Bureau of Land Management, on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management in Idaho. The purpose of the April 23rd tour is to give RAC members an in depth look at the process a livestock grazing permittee follows to fulfill the parameters of their grazing permit. Additional topics may be added and will be included in local media announcements. More information is available at www.blm.gov/id/st/en/res/ resource_advisory.3.html. RAC meetings are open to the public. Dated: March 19, 2014. James Stovall, District Manager (Acting). [FR Doc. 2014–06907 Filed 3–27–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–GG–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [14X L1109AF LLWO300000 L14300000 PN0000] Request for Information: West-Wide Energy Corridor Review Bureau of Land Management, Interior; Forest Service, USDA; Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), Bureau of Land Management (BLM); U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service (FS); and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, are seeking the information described in this notice related to the West-wide Energy Corridor Review. DATES: Comments must be submitted by May 27, 2014. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments electronically to 368corridors@blm.gov. Entire comments, including any personal identifying information, may mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:57 Mar 27, 2014 Jkt 232001 be made publicly available upon request. While respondents may request that personal identifying information be withheld from the public, the BLM, FS, and DOE (Agencies) cannot guarantee that they will be able to do so. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen Fusilier, BLM, at 202–912– 7426 or by email at sfusilie@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800–877– 8339 to contact Mr. Fusilier during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On August 8, 2005, the President signed into law the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) (42 U.S.C. 15801 et seq.). In Section 368 of the EPAct (42 U.S.C. 15926), Congress directed the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, and the Interior (the Secretaries) to designate corridors for oil, gas, and hydrogen pipelines and electrical transmission and distribution facilities on Federal lands in the 11 contiguous Western states (Section 368 Corridors). The Secretaries were also directed to perform any environmental reviews required to complete the designation of Section 368 Corridors, incorporate the Section 368 Corridors into land use plans, and establish a process for identifying new Section 368 Corridors. On January 14, 2009, the DOI approved a record of decision (ROD) that amended 92 BLM land use plans and designated approximately 5,000 miles of Section 368 Corridors on BLMadministered lands. The affected States are Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The FS issued a ROD on January 14, 2009, which amended 38 FS land use plans and designated approximately 990 miles of Section 368 Corridors on National Forest System lands in 10 states. Both RODs adopted mandatory interagency operating procedures (IOP) for projects sited within the Section 368 Corridors. On July 7, 2009, several nonprofit organizations filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Wilderness Society v. United States Department of the Interior, No. 3:09-cv03048–JW, challenging the DOI and FS RODs pursuant to the EPAct, National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. On July 11, 2012, the court approved a settlement agreement (Settlement) and dismissed the case. The Settlement set PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17567 forth five provisions with the objective of ensuring that future Section 368 Corridor revisions, deletions, and additions consider the following principles: Location of Section 368 Corridors in favorable landscapes; facilitation of renewable energy projects where feasible; avoidance of environmentally sensitive areas to the maximum extent practicable; diminution of the proliferation of dispersed rights-of-way crossing the landscape; and improvement of the long-term benefits of reliable and safe transmission. The Settlement also provides that public input and an open and transparent process with engagement by tribes, States, local governments, and other interested parties occur as part of the process for making potential revisions, deletions, or additions to Section 368 Corridors. Two of the Settlement provisions are relevant to this RFI: (1) Preparation of regional periodic reviews of designated Section 368 Corridors (Regional Periodic Reviews) and reviews of IOPs; and (2) Development of a corridor study to assess the overall usefulness of the Section 368 Corridors (Section 368 Corridor Study). Information referenced in this RFI can be found at http:// corridoreis.anl.gov. Purpose of the RFI The purpose of this RFI is to solicit information that will assist the Agencies in the development of the Section 368 Corridor Study and provide the foundation for the initial Regional Periodic Review. In particular, the Agencies seek responses to the questions posed in the sections below. All work described in the Work Plan and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds. Section 368 Corridor Study On July 7, 2013, the Agencies finalized a Corridor Study Work Plan for the Section 368 Corridors (Work Plan). The Work Plan identifies how information will be gathered and analyzed and establishes a schedule for completion of the Section 368 Corridor Study. Under the Section 368 Corridor Study, the Agencies will study Section 368 Corridors to assess their overall usefulness with regard to various factors, including their effectiveness in reducing the proliferation of dispersed rights-of-way across Federal lands. The Agencies will also assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the Section 368 Corridors and record lessons learned in the siting process. The Section 368 Corridor Study will also: E:\FR\FM\28MRN1.SGM 28MRN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 17568 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 60 / Friday, March 28, 2014 / Notices • Identify where corridors are being over- or underutilized and evaluate use of the IOPs; • Focus on information relating to the use of Section 368 Corridors that is publicly available at the time the Agencies initiate the Section 368 Corridor Study; • Help to inform the Regional Periodic Reviews and review of the IOPs; and • Be made public upon completion. (1) Updates to Spatial Data. A geographic information system (GIS) was used to support the mapping and location-specific analyses in the Final West-wide Energy Corridor Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). GIS databases contain spatial data including imagery, map graphics, and associated tabular data, and GIS software allows for storing, processing, analyzing, modeling, and visualizing the spatial data. Lists of the GIS data that were used for the analyses and maps in the Programmatic EIS as well as the sources, quality, and scale of the data are posted at http:// corridoreis.anl.gov (Appendix I of the Programmatic EIS and Appendix A of the Work Plan). Under the Section 368 Corridor Study, the Agencies will update the Programmatic EIS data using compatible, publicly available data. The Agencies are interested in suggestions of new or updated compatible, publicly available data that may be utilized to inform the Section 368 Corridor Study. Are there any new or updated data that is publicly available? (2) Types of Authorized Projects to Consider. The Agencies propose to focus on 100 kilovolt (kV) or higher electric transmission lines and oil, gas, and hydrogen pipelines, 10 inches or more in diameter that have been authorized on Federal lands (both inside and outside of Section 368 Corridors) since approval of the DOI and FS RODs. The purposes of assessing the use of Section 368 Corridors is to evaluate their effectiveness in improving reliability, relieving congestion, and enhancing the capability of the national grid to deliver electricity across Federal lands and to evaluate IOPs for the Section 368 Corridor Study. Are there any other types of projects that the Agencies should consider to assess use of Section 368 Corridors? (3) Methods for Assessing Effectiveness of IOPs. The Agencies will compile information relating to the use of IOPs for projects authorized since approval of the RODs, potentially by project type, based on consideration of projects identified in response to question 2 that are located entirely or partially within a Section 368 Corridor. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:57 Mar 27, 2014 Jkt 232001 Are there methods the Agencies should consider using to evaluate the effectiveness of the IOPs? Regional Periodic Review On July 7, 2013, the Agencies entered into an MOU describing the process for conducting Regional Periodic Reviews, including concurrent review of IOPs. The Agencies will identify and prioritize regions for periodic review. (1) New Relevant Information. In accordance with the MOU, as a part of the Regional Periodic Reviews (including review of IOPs), the Agencies will consider new, relevant information. In general, the Agencies will consider significant regional energy development and corridor and transmission plans or studies, which are supplemented by project-specific studies that were completed after January 2009 or that are substantially underway. Examples of new information the Agencies will consider include the following: • Results of: (1) Joint studies of electric transmission needs and renewable energy potential being conducted by the Western Electricity Coordinating Council and the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) and funded by the DOE; and (2) The DOE’s Transmission Corridor Assessment Report for Western States (DOE Corridor Study). These studies address the need for upgraded and new electrical transmission and distribution facilities to improve reliability, relieve congestion, and facilitate renewable energy development. The DOE Corridor Study is addressed in the June 7, 2013, Presidential Memorandum, ‘‘Transforming our Nation’s Electric Grid Through Improved Siting, Permitting, and Review,’’ available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-pressoffice/2013/06/07/presidentialmemorandum-transforming-ournations-electric-grid-through-i. • Results of the BLM’s Rapid Ecoregional Assessments that characterize ecological values across regional landscapes; • Once completed, the results of the Section 368 Corridor Study and review of the IOPs; • Results of other ongoing resource studies, such as the WGA wildlife corridor study, the BLM’s and FS’s National Sage-Grouse Habitat Conservation Strategy, and the State of Wyoming’s sage grouse strategy; • Other factors, such as States’ renewable portfolio standards, that address potential energy demand, sources, and loads, with particular regard to renewable energy; • The BLM’s Approved Resource Management Plan Amendments/ROD PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States based on the joint BLM and DOE 2012 Solar Energy Development Programmatic EIS that assessed the environmental, social, and economic impacts associated with solar energy development on BLM-managed lands in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. The ROD amends 89 BLM land use plans incorporating land use allocations and programmatic Solar Energy Zonespecific design features; updates and revises policies and procedures for solar energy development; and implements a comprehensive solar energy program for administering the development of utility-scale solar energy resources in 6 southwestern states; • The BLM Arizona Restoration Design Energy Project Final EIS and ROD issued in January 2013; • Information from the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan Draft EIS/Environmental Impact Report scheduled for release in 2014; • The BLM/FS Greater Sage-Grouse Sub-Regional Planning Areas that overlie Section 368 Corridors; • Draft and Final EISs, land use plan amendments, and related studies for pipelines 10 inches or more in diameter and 100 kV or higher electric transmission lines that utilize Section 368 Corridors; • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Renewable Energy Futures Study Report (2012); and • New IOPs submitted by the Plaintiffs who are a party to the Settlement. Is there any other publicly available information that the Agencies should consider as part of the initial Regional Periodic Review, including review of the IOPs, and if so, where or how can it be found, and what parts of it are relevant to this RFI? (2) Identification of New Requirements. Are there any laws, regulations, or other requirements that have been implemented since issuance of the DOI and FS RODs in January 2009 that the Agencies should consider when reviewing Section 368 Corridors? (3) Identification of Regional Stakeholder Fora. The Agencies have identified an initial list of existing regional stakeholder fora as possible options for stakeholder engagement during Regional Periodic Reviews (e.g., BLM and FS Resource Advisory Councils, the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, Western Governors’ Association, and the Indian Country Energy and Infrastructure Working Group, which was established to work collaboratively with the DOE). E:\FR\FM\28MRN1.SGM 28MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 60 / Friday, March 28, 2014 / Notices Are there any additional regional stakeholder fora that the Agencies should consider for stakeholder engagement during Regional Periodic Reviews? (4) Changes to IOPs. Are there any additions, deletions, or revisions the Agencies should consider making to the IOPs that were adopted in the DOI and FS RODs, and what is the rationale for those changes? (5) Comments on New IOPs. The Agencies have committed to consideration of new IOPs submitted by the Plaintiffs who are parties to the Settlement. The new IOPs are available at http://corridoreis.anl.gov Are there any comments on these new IOPs? Michael D. Nedd, Assistant Director, Energy, Minerals, and Realty Management, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior. Tony L. Tooke, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Matt Rosenbaum, Acting Director National Electricity Delivery, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Department of Energy. [FR Doc. 2014–06945 Filed 3–27–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–84–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement [S1D1S SS08011000 SX066A000 67F 134S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX066A00 33F 13xs501520] Notice of Availability of the Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine Energy Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Availability. AGENCY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine Energy Project (Project), in northwestern New Mexico and by this notice is announcing the opening of the comment period. DATES: To ensure comments will be considered, the OSMRE must receive written comments on the Draft EIS no later than May 27, 2014. The OSMRE will conduct public meetings in the following locations and on the following dates: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:57 Mar 27, 2014 Jkt 232001 Hotevilla, AZ:—Navajo and Hopi interpreters available Wednesday, April 30, 5 to 8 p.m. Hotevilla Village (Hotevilla Youth and Elderly Center), Auditorium, 1 Main St., Hotevilla, AZ 86030 Cortez, CO: Thursday, May 1, 5 to 8 p.m. Montezuma-Cortez High School, The Commons Area, 206 W. Seventh St., Cortez, CO 81321 Burnham, NM:—Navajo interpreters available Friday, May 2, 5 to 8 p.m. Tiis Tsoh Sikaad (Burham) Chapter House, Large Meeting Room, 12 miles east of U.S. 491 on Navajo Route 5 and 1⁄2 mile south on Navajo Route 5080 Durango, CO: Saturday, May 3, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Durango Community Recreation Center, 2700 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301 Farmington, NM: Monday, May 5, 5 to 8 p.m. Farmington Civic Center, Exhibition Hall, 200 W. Arrington St., Farmington, NM 87401 Shiprock, NM:—Navajo interpreters available Tuesday, May 6, 5 to 8 p.m. Shiprock High School, Commons, Highway 64 W, Shiprock, NM 87420 Nenahnezad, NM:—Navajo interpreters available Wednesday, May 7, 5 to 8 p.m. Nenahnezad Chapter House, Multipurpose Hall, County Road 6675, Navajo Route 365, Fruitland, NM 87416 Window Rock, AZ:—Navajo interpreters available Thursday, May 8, 5 to 8 p.m. Navajo Nation Museum, Resource Room, Highway 264, Postal Loop Road, Window Rock, AZ 86515 Albuquerque, NM: Friday, May 9, 5 to 8 p.m. Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Silver and Turquoise Room, 2401 12th St. NW., Albuquerque, NM 87104 Public meetings will be conducted in an open-house style format. The meeting rooms will be arranged into the following areas: (1) An area where attendees may view a video discussing the project and the Draft EIS findings; (2) an area containing informational displays where attendees may read and subsequently discuss the project and the Draft EIS findings with OSMRE representatives, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and consultant personnel; (3) an area where attendees may record and submit written comments; and (4) PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17569 an area where an OSMRE representative and a transcriber will record oral comments. Hopi and Navajo interpreters will be present at meetings on the Hopi and Navajo Reservations. If you require reasonable accommodation to attend one of the meetings, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT at least one week before the meeting. ADDRESSES: The draft EIS is available for review at http://www.wrcc.osmre.gov/ Current_Initiatives/FCNAVPRJ/ FCPPEIS.shtm. Paper and computer compact disk (CD) copies of the Draft EIS are available for review at the OSMRE Western Region office, 1999 Broadway, Suite 3320, Denver, Colorado 80202–5733. In addition, a paper and CD copy of the Draft EIS is also available for review at each of the following locations: Navajo Nation Library—Highway 264 Loop Road, Window Rock, AZ 86515 Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources—Executive Office Building 1–2636, Window Rock Blvd., Window Rock, AZ 86515 Hopi Public Mobile Library—1 Main Street, Kykotsmovi, AZ 86039 Albuquerque Main Library—501 Copper Ave NW., Albuquerque, NM 87102 Cortez Public Library—202 N. Park Street, Cortez, CO 81321 Durango Public Library—1900 E. Third Ave, Durango, CO 81301 Farmington Public Library—2101 Farmington Ave, Farmington, NM 87401 Octavia Fellin Public Library—115 W. Hill Ave., Gallup, NM 87301 Shiprock Branch Library—U.S. Highway 491, Shiprock, NM 87420 Tuba City Public Library—78 Main Street, Tuba City, AZ 86045 Chinle Chapter House—Highway 191, Chinle, AZ 86503 Coalmine Canyon Chapter House— Highway 160 and Main Street, Tuba City, AZ 86045 Nenahnezad Chapter House—County Road 6675, Navajo Route 365, Fruitland, NM 87416 Shiprock Chapter House—East on Highway 64, Shiprock, NM 87420 Tiis Tsoh Sikaad Chapter House—12 miles east of U.S. 491 on Navajo Route 5 and 1⁄2 mile south on Navajo Route 5080 Upper Fruitland Chapter House—N562 Building #006–001, North of Highway N36, Fruitland, NM 87416 OSMRE Albuquerque Area Office—435 Montano Road, NE., Albuquerque, NM 87107 BIA Chinle Office—Navajo Route 7, Building 136–C, Chinle, AZ 86503 E:\FR\FM\28MRN1.SGM 28MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 60 (Friday, March 28, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17567-17569]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-06945]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

[14X L1109AF LLWO300000 L14300000 PN0000]


Request for Information: West-Wide Energy Corridor Review

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior; Forest Service, USDA; 
Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), Bureau of Land 
Management (BLM); U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service 
(FS); and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Electricity 
Delivery and Energy Reliability, are seeking the information described 
in this notice related to the West-wide Energy Corridor Review.

DATES: Comments must be submitted by May 27, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments electronically to 
368corridors@blm.gov. Entire comments, including any personal 
identifying information, may be made publicly available upon request. 
While respondents may request that personal identifying information be 
withheld from the public, the BLM, FS, and DOE (Agencies) cannot 
guarantee that they will be able to do so.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen Fusilier, BLM, at 202-912-7426 
or by email at sfusilie@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications 
device for the deaf may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 
800-877-8339 to contact Mr. Fusilier during normal business hours. The 
FIRS is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. You will receive a 
reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On August 8, 2005, the President signed into 
law the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) (42 U.S.C. 15801 et seq.). In 
Section 368 of the EPAct (42 U.S.C. 15926), Congress directed the 
Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, and the Interior 
(the Secretaries) to designate corridors for oil, gas, and hydrogen 
pipelines and electrical transmission and distribution facilities on 
Federal lands in the 11 contiguous Western states (Section 368 
Corridors). The Secretaries were also directed to perform any 
environmental reviews required to complete the designation of Section 
368 Corridors, incorporate the Section 368 Corridors into land use 
plans, and establish a process for identifying new Section 368 
Corridors.
    On January 14, 2009, the DOI approved a record of decision (ROD) 
that amended 92 BLM land use plans and designated approximately 5,000 
miles of Section 368 Corridors on BLM-administered lands. The affected 
States are Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New 
Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The FS issued a ROD on 
January 14, 2009, which amended 38 FS land use plans and designated 
approximately 990 miles of Section 368 Corridors on National Forest 
System lands in 10 states. Both RODs adopted mandatory interagency 
operating procedures (IOP) for projects sited within the Section 368 
Corridors.
    On July 7, 2009, several nonprofit organizations filed a complaint 
in the United States District Court for the Northern District of 
California, Wilderness Society v. United States Department of the 
Interior, No. 3:09-cv-03048-JW, challenging the DOI and FS RODs 
pursuant to the EPAct, National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered 
Species Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.
    On July 11, 2012, the court approved a settlement agreement 
(Settlement) and dismissed the case. The Settlement set forth five 
provisions with the objective of ensuring that future Section 368 
Corridor revisions, deletions, and additions consider the following 
principles: Location of Section 368 Corridors in favorable landscapes; 
facilitation of renewable energy projects where feasible; avoidance of 
environmentally sensitive areas to the maximum extent practicable; 
diminution of the proliferation of dispersed rights-of-way crossing the 
landscape; and improvement of the long-term benefits of reliable and 
safe transmission. The Settlement also provides that public input and 
an open and transparent process with engagement by tribes, States, 
local governments, and other interested parties occur as part of the 
process for making potential revisions, deletions, or additions to 
Section 368 Corridors.
    Two of the Settlement provisions are relevant to this RFI: (1) 
Preparation of regional periodic reviews of designated Section 368 
Corridors (Regional Periodic Reviews) and reviews of IOPs; and (2) 
Development of a corridor study to assess the overall usefulness of the 
Section 368 Corridors (Section 368 Corridor Study). Information 
referenced in this RFI can be found at http://corridoreis.anl.gov.

Purpose of the RFI

    The purpose of this RFI is to solicit information that will assist 
the Agencies in the development of the Section 368 Corridor Study and 
provide the foundation for the initial Regional Periodic Review. In 
particular, the Agencies seek responses to the questions posed in the 
sections below. All work described in the Work Plan and Memorandum of 
Understanding (MOU) is contingent upon the availability of appropriated 
funds.

Section 368 Corridor Study

    On July 7, 2013, the Agencies finalized a Corridor Study Work Plan 
for the Section 368 Corridors (Work Plan). The Work Plan identifies how 
information will be gathered and analyzed and establishes a schedule 
for completion of the Section 368 Corridor Study. Under the Section 368 
Corridor Study, the Agencies will study Section 368 Corridors to assess 
their overall usefulness with regard to various factors, including 
their effectiveness in reducing the proliferation of dispersed rights-
of-way across Federal lands. The Agencies will also assess the 
efficiency and effectiveness of the Section 368 Corridors and record 
lessons learned in the siting process. The Section 368 Corridor Study 
will also:

[[Page 17568]]

     Identify where corridors are being over- or underutilized 
and evaluate use of the IOPs;
     Focus on information relating to the use of Section 368 
Corridors that is publicly available at the time the Agencies initiate 
the Section 368 Corridor Study;
     Help to inform the Regional Periodic Reviews and review of 
the IOPs; and
     Be made public upon completion.
    (1) Updates to Spatial Data. A geographic information system (GIS) 
was used to support the mapping and location-specific analyses in the 
Final West-wide Energy Corridor Programmatic Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS). GIS databases contain spatial data including imagery, 
map graphics, and associated tabular data, and GIS software allows for 
storing, processing, analyzing, modeling, and visualizing the spatial 
data. Lists of the GIS data that were used for the analyses and maps in 
the Programmatic EIS as well as the sources, quality, and scale of the 
data are posted at http://corridoreis.anl.gov (Appendix I of the 
Programmatic EIS and Appendix A of the Work Plan). Under the Section 
368 Corridor Study, the Agencies will update the Programmatic EIS data 
using compatible, publicly available data. The Agencies are interested 
in suggestions of new or updated compatible, publicly available data 
that may be utilized to inform the Section 368 Corridor Study. Are 
there any new or updated data that is publicly available?
    (2) Types of Authorized Projects to Consider. The Agencies propose 
to focus on 100 kilovolt (kV) or higher electric transmission lines and 
oil, gas, and hydrogen pipelines, 10 inches or more in diameter that 
have been authorized on Federal lands (both inside and outside of 
Section 368 Corridors) since approval of the DOI and FS RODs. The 
purposes of assessing the use of Section 368 Corridors is to evaluate 
their effectiveness in improving reliability, relieving congestion, and 
enhancing the capability of the national grid to deliver electricity 
across Federal lands and to evaluate IOPs for the Section 368 Corridor 
Study. Are there any other types of projects that the Agencies should 
consider to assess use of Section 368 Corridors?
    (3) Methods for Assessing Effectiveness of IOPs. The Agencies will 
compile information relating to the use of IOPs for projects authorized 
since approval of the RODs, potentially by project type, based on 
consideration of projects identified in response to question 2 that are 
located entirely or partially within a Section 368 Corridor. Are there 
methods the Agencies should consider using to evaluate the 
effectiveness of the IOPs?

Regional Periodic Review

    On July 7, 2013, the Agencies entered into an MOU describing the 
process for conducting Regional Periodic Reviews, including concurrent 
review of IOPs. The Agencies will identify and prioritize regions for 
periodic review.
    (1) New Relevant Information. In accordance with the MOU, as a part 
of the Regional Periodic Reviews (including review of IOPs), the 
Agencies will consider new, relevant information. In general, the 
Agencies will consider significant regional energy development and 
corridor and transmission plans or studies, which are supplemented by 
project-specific studies that were completed after January 2009 or that 
are substantially underway. Examples of new information the Agencies 
will consider include the following:
     Results of: (1) Joint studies of electric transmission 
needs and renewable energy potential being conducted by the Western 
Electricity Coordinating Council and the Western Governors' Association 
(WGA) and funded by the DOE; and (2) The DOE's Transmission Corridor 
Assessment Report for Western States (DOE Corridor Study). These 
studies address the need for upgraded and new electrical transmission 
and distribution facilities to improve reliability, relieve congestion, 
and facilitate renewable energy development. The DOE Corridor Study is 
addressed in the June 7, 2013, Presidential Memorandum, ``Transforming 
our Nation's Electric Grid Through Improved Siting, Permitting, and 
Review,'' available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/07/presidential-memorandum-transforming-our-nations-electric-grid-through-i.
     Results of the BLM's Rapid Ecoregional Assessments that 
characterize ecological values across regional landscapes;
     Once completed, the results of the Section 368 Corridor 
Study and review of the IOPs;
     Results of other ongoing resource studies, such as the WGA 
wildlife corridor study, the BLM's and FS's National Sage-Grouse 
Habitat Conservation Strategy, and the State of Wyoming's sage grouse 
strategy;
     Other factors, such as States' renewable portfolio 
standards, that address potential energy demand, sources, and loads, 
with particular regard to renewable energy;
     The BLM's Approved Resource Management Plan Amendments/ROD 
for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States based on the 
joint BLM and DOE 2012 Solar Energy Development Programmatic EIS that 
assessed the environmental, social, and economic impacts associated 
with solar energy development on BLM-managed lands in Arizona, 
California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. The ROD amends 89 
BLM land use plans incorporating land use allocations and programmatic 
Solar Energy Zone-specific design features; updates and revises 
policies and procedures for solar energy development; and implements a 
comprehensive solar energy program for administering the development of 
utility-scale solar energy resources in 6 southwestern states;
     The BLM Arizona Restoration Design Energy Project Final 
EIS and ROD issued in January 2013;
     Information from the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation 
Plan Draft EIS/Environmental Impact Report scheduled for release in 
2014;
     The BLM/FS Greater Sage-Grouse Sub-Regional Planning Areas 
that overlie Section 368 Corridors;
     Draft and Final EISs, land use plan amendments, and 
related studies for pipelines 10 inches or more in diameter and 100 kV 
or higher electric transmission lines that utilize Section 368 
Corridors;
     The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Renewable 
Energy Futures Study Report (2012); and
     New IOPs submitted by the Plaintiffs who are a party to 
the Settlement.
    Is there any other publicly available information that the Agencies 
should consider as part of the initial Regional Periodic Review, 
including review of the IOPs, and if so, where or how can it be found, 
and what parts of it are relevant to this RFI?
    (2) Identification of New Requirements. Are there any laws, 
regulations, or other requirements that have been implemented since 
issuance of the DOI and FS RODs in January 2009 that the Agencies 
should consider when reviewing Section 368 Corridors?
    (3) Identification of Regional Stakeholder Fora. The Agencies have 
identified an initial list of existing regional stakeholder fora as 
possible options for stakeholder engagement during Regional Periodic 
Reviews (e.g., BLM and FS Resource Advisory Councils, the Western 
Electricity Coordinating Council, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, 
Western Governors' Association, and the Indian Country Energy and 
Infrastructure Working Group, which was established to work 
collaboratively with the DOE).

[[Page 17569]]

Are there any additional regional stakeholder fora that the Agencies 
should consider for stakeholder engagement during Regional Periodic 
Reviews?
    (4) Changes to IOPs. Are there any additions, deletions, or 
revisions the Agencies should consider making to the IOPs that were 
adopted in the DOI and FS RODs, and what is the rationale for those 
changes?
    (5) Comments on New IOPs. The Agencies have committed to 
consideration of new IOPs submitted by the Plaintiffs who are parties 
to the Settlement. The new IOPs are available at http://corridoreis.anl.gov Are there any comments on these new IOPs?

Michael D. Nedd,
Assistant Director, Energy, Minerals, and Realty Management, Bureau of 
Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Tony L. Tooke,
Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System, U.S. Forest Service, 
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Matt Rosenbaum,
Acting Director National Electricity Delivery, Office of Electricity 
Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Department of Energy.
[FR Doc. 2014-06945 Filed 3-27-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-84-P