DOE Proposes Establishing Program to Accelerate Interstate Transmission Project Permitting

On August 10, 2023, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NOPR) proposing to establish an integrated Coordinated Interagency Transmission Authorizations and Permits Program (CITAP Program) that provides an expedient approval process for qualifying interstate transmission projects.

Triggered by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, the CITAP Program intends to relieve capacity constraints and congestion on the nation’s electric transmission grid by:

  • Improving the existing Integrated Interagency Pre-application Process (IIP Process) to identify the relevant necessary permits at the earliest opportunity
  • Setting a two-year deadline for federal entities to issue decisions and permits authorizing electric transmission projects after the publication of a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • Simplifying the administrative record by incorporating the IIP Process administrative file into a single docket that contains all the information assembled by the relevant federal entities
  • Serving as the lead agency in preparation of a single EIS designed to serve the needs of all relevant federal entities

The DOE published the NOPR in the Federal Register on August 16, 2023, opening a 45-day public comment period that will end on October 2, 2023. The DOE is particularly interested in comments on the IIP Process requirements for transmission developers.

For more information regarding the NOPR, please see Pierce Atwood’s more in-depth article in its Energy Infrastructure Blog. For questions regarding the proposed CITAP Program, transmission project development and permitting, or other energy-related matters, please contact Valerie Green, Lisa Gilbreath, Nicholas Salalayko, or any member of Pierce Atwood’s Energy Infrastructure Project Development and Finance Group.