Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell today signed a Declaration of Cooperation with the States of Oregon and Washington to expedite the review and permitting of energy generation, power transmission and other vital infrastructure development in the Pacific Northwest.
The Interior Department announced the agreement in a May 24 news release. The agreement is similar to one that Interior had previously reached with California.
“By cutting red tape, expanding information technology tools and conducting concurrent state and federal reviews, we can trim months, if not years, off the time it takes to review and approve projects,” Jewell said.
The agreement formally establishes a pilot Pacific Northwest Regional Infrastructure Team to more efficiently coordinate the permitting processes for infrastructure projects – where both state and federal agencies have review responsibilities. This state-federal team will use a cross-agency and cross-jurisdictional strategy to identify siting conflicts and mitigation early in the development and permitting process.
The infrastructure team will focus on a variety of projects, including renewable energy generation, electricity transmission, broadband, pipelines, ports and waterways, and water resource development that are proposed in the states.