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Frequently Asked Questions

Government-to-Government Consultation for the PEIS

The issuing agencies consulted with Native American governments regarding the West-wide Energy Corridor Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (FS, collectively referred to as the Agencies) work on a government-to-government basis with Native American Tribes. As a part of the government's Treaty and Trust responsibilities, the government-to-government relationship was formally recognized by the federal government on November 6, 2000, with Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.

The Agencies coordinate and consult with tribal governments, Native communities, and tribal individuals whose interests might be directly and substantially affected by activities on Western federal lands. The agencies will strive to provide the tribes sufficient opportunities for productive participation in planning and resource management decision making.

Tribal Nation Input

The opportunity for government-to-government consultation was offered to all federally recognized Tribes in the eleven Western States. The Agencies recognize that the Tribes are the best source for information on sensitive areas on ancestral lands, traditional resources, and treaty rights on federal lands. Any information on these topics that Tribes provided was greatly appreciated and will remain confidential. The information helped to ensure that the corridor configuration has the least possible adverse effect on resources important to tribal communities. While Tribal nations may consult at any level of government, an Agency point of contact (Agency POC) was assigned to individual Tribes to facilitate consultation and coordination among entities whenever a Tribe expressed an interest in the PEIS. These Agency POCs were usually local Tribal Coordinators from the BLM or FS; once assigned, Tribal organizations or individuals could communicate directly with the Agency POC.

Government-to-Government Consultation Documents

PDF List of all Tribes that have been contacted for government-to-government consultations (15 KB)
PDF Sample letter from BLM requesting tribal participation in the the public scoping process for the PEIS. (73 KB)

Government-to-Government Consultation Schedule

Energy Corridor Programmatic EIS Government-to-Government Consultation Schedule
Date Consultation Event
28 Sep 2005 Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement published.
28 Sep - 28 Nov 2005 Public scoping
25 Oct - 3 Nov 2005 Scoping meetings held in each of the eleven Western states.
14 Apr 2006 All federally recognized tribes invited to regional Tribal information meetings. Text of letter sent on April 14, 2006.
9 May - 25 May 2006 Five Regional Tribal information meetings held.
10 Jul 2006 Summary of regional meetings (Tribal Information Update) and invitation to consultation sent to all Western tribes. Text of letter sent on July 10, 2006.
November 2007 Release of the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
Nov. 2007 - Feb. 2008 90-day public comment period
21 Nov 2008 Release of the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
14 Jan 2009 Bureau of Land Management Record of Decision issued
15 Jan 2009 USDA Forest Service Record of Decision issued

Input on the selection of appropriate energy corridor end points was received from government agencies, energy providers, and the general public during the scoping process and the public comment period for the Draft PEIS. Taking this input into account, the Section 368 energy corridors identified in the Final PEIS and designated through land use plan amendments in the Records of Decision are located to enhance the reliability and capacity of the existing energy transmission and conveyance network in the West for moving electricity, oil, natural gas, and hydrogen from their sources to end users. The PEIS is a federal action and identifies Section 368 energy corridors only on federal lands, as dictated by Section 368 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct).

EPAct required the Agencies to specify center lines and widths for energy corridors designated on federal lands. Specific corridor routes were located to avoid areas inappropriate for corridor development because of legal, regulatory, or Agency-mission requirements; and to take into account local resource-management considerations. The energy corridors were located to avoid known sensitive cultural resources, such as traditional cultural properties. While this should minimize the adverse effects of developing the energy corridors it does not eliminate the requirement for future National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 106 reviews. No field surveys for cultural resources were carried out in conjunction with this PEIS. Any construction or development projects that are later proposed for these corridors would require their own NEPA and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Section 106 reviews.