BLM Issues Right-of-Way Application Rule In An Effort To Spark Renewable Energy Development

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As reported earlier today by a number of news outlets (see for example this KCET article by Chris Clarke), the Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") will be issuing a Final Rule to facilitate right-of-way applications for lands with wind and solar energy development potential.  As explained in the press release issued by the BLM, in the past

"lands included in a proposed right-of-way [would] remain open to the location and entry of mining claims while the BLM" considered the application.  

However, the Final Rule, which will be published in the Federal Register, permits the BLM to temporarily segregate -  and therefore preserve lands in a pending renewable energy right-of-way application -- from mining claims.  This segregation, which could be effective for up to four years depending on certain circumstances, terminates automatically if the BLM

  1. issues a decision on the right-of-way application;
  2. publishes in the Federal Register a notice of termination of the segregation; or
  3. fails to take any further administrative action after the end of the segregation period. 

The BLM anticipates that the application of this Final Rule will help spark the development of "environmentally responsible renewable energy on public lands."