Instruction Memoranda (IM) are temporary directives that supplement the BLM's permanent Manual Sections which provide direction for its programs. Typically, an IM contains new policy or procedures, interprets existing policies, or provides one-time instructions that have not yet been included in a Manual Section.
The BLM developed and issued IM to establish and refine a Solar Energy Development Policy in 2004 (IM 2005-006), 2007 (IM 2007-097), and 2010 (IM 2010-141 and IM 2011-003). These successive IM addressed the increased interest in solar energy development on BLM-administered lands and provided direction for renewable energy development on public lands. These IM, along with additional IM developed from 2011 through 2014, described the BLM's Solar Energy Program and established procedures for considering and processing solar energy applications. IM topics included, but were not limited to, the following:
Specific IM that are still in active use include:
IM 2010-141 provides updated guidance on the rental provisions of ROW authorizations for solar energy projects on public lands administered by the BLM.
IM 2011-003 provides current guidance on the processing of ROW applications and the administration of ROW authorizations for solar energy projects on public lands administered by the BLM.
IM 2011-059 reiterates and clarifies existing BLM NEPA policy to assist offices that are analyzing externally generated, utility-scale renewable energy ROW applications. It includes examples and guidance applicable to renewable energy ROW applications that supplement information in BLM's NEPA Handbook (H-1790-1). Utility-scale renewable energy projects are distinct from many other types of land and realty actions because of their size and potential for significant resource conflicts, as well as the priority that has been placed on them by the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOl).
IM 2011-060 provides updated guidance on the due diligence requirements of ROW applicants for solar and wind energy development projects on public lands administered by the BLM.
IM 2011-061 provides updated guidance on the review of ROW applications for solar and wind energy development projects on public lands administered by the BLM.
IM 2012-032 provides the schedule, procedures, and responsibilities for ongoing Native American consultation after completion of the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for BLM's Solar Energy Program. It also transmitted a revised Draft Programmatic Agreement (PA) governing the BLM Solar Energy Program's compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
IM 2013-142 and the attached Draft – Regional Mitigation, Manual Section 1794 outline interim policy for taking a regional approach to mitigating project impacts. The Manual Section 1794 provides policy, procedures, and instructions for regional mitigation strategies, regional mitigation planning, and mitigation implementation.
IM 2014-019 provides information on inspection and enforcement requirements for solar and wind energy projects located on BLM-administered lands.