IIP/Permitting and Regulations

From Open Energy Information

< IIP

Integrated Interagency Pre-Application Process: Permitting and Regulations

A developer of certain electric transmission projects may apply to the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to use the “Integrated Interagency Pre-Application (IIP) Process” to facilitate the timely exchange and review of environmental information between a developer, federal, and non-federal entities (hereafter parties) required for federal authorizations. 10 C.F.R. §§ 900.1–900.6. A federal authorization is any authorization required under federal law to site an electric transmission facility (i.e., federal actions that triggers review, permitting, consultation or other requirements, such as those required under the National Environmental Policy Act, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and Sections 7 and 10 of the Endangered Species Act). 10 C.F.R. §§ 900.3. A “Federal Entity” is any federal agency:

  • with jurisdictional interest;
  • responsible for issuing a federal authorization;
  • with relevant expertise with respect to environmental and other pertinent issues; or
  • provides funding for the proposed qualifying project. 10 C.F.R. § 900.3.


Below is a list of common federal authorizations that may be coordinated as part of the Integrated Interagency Pre-Application Process.



Topicfilter Approval Agencyfilter Thresholdback to top

Land Access

A bulk transmission developer may need a right-of-way, lease, or other use approval from the federal agency managing the land in order to site a transmission line.

Bureau of Land Management - Transmission Right-of-Way View on RAPID Bureau of Land Management Any need to use public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management for transmission siting. 43 U.S.C. § 1761; 43 C.F.R. § 2800.
Bureau of Reclamation - Use Authorization View on RAPID Bureau of Reclamation Any need to construct a project, transmission lines, access roads, or other project facilities on lands managed by the Bureau of Reclamation. 43 C.F.R. § 429.
Department of Defense - Land Right-of-Way View on RAPID United States Department of Defense Any need to use public land managed by the Department of Defense, typically for transmission, roads, and access. 10 U.S.C. § 2668.
Federal Highway Administration Utility Accommodation View on RAPID Federal Highway Administration Any utility that has a need to access a right-of-way on federal-aid or direct federal highways. 23 C.F.R. § 645.201–215.
National Park Service - Land Right-of-Way View on RAPID National Park Service Any need to use public land managed by the National Park Service, typically for transmission, roads, and access. 16 U.S.C. §§ 5, 79; 36 C.F.R. § 14.
Tribal Energy Resource Agreement Land Right-of-Way View on RAPID Bureau of Indian Affairs Any need to enter into a right-of-way for the purpose of energy development with a tribe that has an approved Tribal Energy Resource Agreement. 25 U.S.C. § 3504; 25 C.F.R. § 224.
Tribal Land Right-of-Way View on RAPID Bureau of Indian Affairs Any need to use land held in trust by the United States for individual Native Americans or Native American tribes, typically for transmission, roads, and access. 25 U.S.C. §§ 323–28, 2218.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Land Right-of-Way View on RAPID U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Any need to use public land managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, typically for transmission, roads, and access. 16 U.S.C. §§ 668dd-ee; 43 C.F.R. § 2800; 50 C.F.R. §§ 29.21–22.
U.S. Forest Service - Transmission Right-of-Way View on RAPID United States Forest Service Any need to use public land managed by the U.S. Forest Service for transmission siting. 43 U.S.C. § 1761; 36 C.F.R. § 251.

Siting & Regulation

A bulk transmission developer must consider the role of federal, state, and local governments related to transmission siting and construction. Under certain circumstances the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission may approve a transmission line in lieu of a state authority.

FERC Electric Transmission Construction Permit View on RAPID Federal Energy Regulatory Commission If a state does not have the authority to site transmission facilities, cannot consider interstate benefits of a proposed project located in a National Corridor, withholds approval for more than one year, or has conditioned its approval in a manner that will not significantly reduce transmission congestion in interstate commerce or is not economically feasible. Or if the applicant is a transmitting utility but does not qualify to apply for a permit or siting approval from the state because the applicant does not serve end-use customers in the state. 16 U.S.C. § 824p(b).

Environmental Review

A bulk transmission developer may need to comply with federal environmental review processes administered by a lead federal agency under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).

Bureau of Land Management - NEPA Review View on RAPID Bureau of Land Management Any discretionary federal action that is subject to Bureau of Land Management control and responsibility. 42 US.C. § 4332; 40 C.F.R. § 1508.18; 43 C.F.R. § 46.
Department of Defense - NEPA Review View on RAPID United States Department of Defense Any discretionary federal action that is subject to Department of Defense control and responsibility. 42 US.C. § 4332; 40 C.F.R. § 1508.18; 32 C.F.R. § 551; 32 C.F.R. § 989; 32 C.F.R. § 775; 33 C.F.R. § 230.
Department of Energy - NEPA Review View on RAPID United States Department of Energy Any discretionary federal action that is subject to Department of Energy control and responsibility. 42 US.C. § 4332; 40 C.F.R. § 1508.18; 10 C.F.R. § 1021.
National Park Service - NEPA Review View on RAPID National Park Service Any discretionary federal action that is subject to National Park Service control and responsibility. 42 US.C. § 4332; 40 C.F.R. § 1508.18; 43 C.F.R. § 46.
Rural Utilities Service - NEPA Review View on RAPID Rural Utilities Service Any discretionary federal action that is subject to Rural Utilities Service control and responsibility. 42 US.C. § 4332; 40 C.F.R. § 1508.18; 7 C.F.R. § 1b; 7 C.F.R. § 1794.
U.S. Forest Service - NEPA Review View on RAPID Unites States Forest Service Any discretionary federal action that is subject to Forest Service control and responsibility. 42 US.C. § 4332; 40 C.F.R. § 1508.18; 7 C.F.R. § 1b; 30 C.F.R. § 220.

Cultural Resources

A bulk transmission project must comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). Section 106 of the NHPA requires federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties and afford the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) an opportunity to comment.

National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 Resource Survey Overview View on RAPID Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Any federal undertaking that has the potential to affect properties listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. 16 U.S.C. § 470f.

Biological Resources

Federal laws protect certain biological resources from particular impacts associated with bulk transmission project development. Each project is required to assess the impacts it may have on protected flora and fauna as well as impacts on their respective habitat.

Bald and Golden Eagle Permit View on RAPID U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Any taking of bald or golden eagles if such taking is incidental to, and not the purpose of carrying out an otherwise lawful activity. 16 U.S.C. § 668(a).
Endangered Species Act Section 7 Consultation View on RAPID U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
National Marine Fisheries Service
Any action authorized, funded, or carried out by a federal agency. 16 U.S.C. § 1536(a)(2).
Marine Mammal Protection Act Incidental Harassment Authorization View on RAPID National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Any person who engages in an activity other than commercial fishing within a specified geographic region and who incidentally, but not intentionally, take by harassment small numbers of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, or sea lions. 16 U.S.C. § 1371(a)(5)(D); 50 C.F.R. § 216.2; 50 C.F.R. § 216.3.
Marine Mammal Protection Act Incidental Harassment Authorization View on RAPID U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Any person who engages in an activity other than commercial fishing within a specified geographic region and who incidentally, but not intentionally, take by harassment small numbers of polar bear, sea otter, walrus, dugong, west indian manatee, amazonian manatee, west african manatee, or marine otter. 16 U.S.C. § 1371(a)(5)(D); 50 C.F.R. § 18.2; 50 C.F.R. § 18.3.
Marine Mammal Protection Act Incidental Take Letter of Authorization View on RAPID National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Any person who engages in an activity other than commercial fishing within a specified geographic region and who incidentally, but not intentionally, take small numbers of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, or sea lions. 16 U.S.C. § 1371(a)(5)(A); 50 C.F.R. § 216.2; 50 C.F.R. § 216.3.
Marine Mammal Protection Act Incidental Take Letter of Authorization View on RAPID U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Any person who engages in an activity other than commercial fishing within a specified geographic region and who incidentally, but not intentionally, take small numbers of polar bear, sea otter, walrus, dugong, west indian manatee, amazonian manatee, west african manatee, or marine otter. 16 U.S.C. § 1371(a)(5)(A); 50 C.F.R. § 18.2; 50 C.F.R. § 18.3.
Migratory Bird Treaty Act View on RAPID U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Any activity that results in the possession, sale, purchase, barter, transport, import, export, or take of migratory birds, their nests, or eggs, unless authorized by permit or regulation. 16 U.S.C. §§ 703–05.

Water Quality

A bulk transmission developer should consider the proposed project’s impact on water quality. The Clean Water Act (CWA) is the primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution. Section 404 of the CWA regulates the discharge of dredge and fill material into waters of the United States.

Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit View on RAPID U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Any discharge of dredge or fill material into waters of the United States. 33 U.S.C. § 1344.

Aesthetic Resources

A bulk transmission developer must consider the proposed project’s impact on aesthetic, visual, and recreational resources related to a designated Wild and Scenic River.

Wild and Scenic Rivers Act Section 7 Review View on RAPID Bureau of Land Management
National Park Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
United States Forest Service
Any construction of dams, water conduits, reservoirs, powerhouses, transmission lines, or other project works "on or directly affecting" designated rivers. 16 U.S.C. § 1278.