The principal BLM regulations that affect the processing of right-of-way (ROW) applications for development on public lands are included in 43 CFR 2800. These regulations were originally published in 2005 under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. The most recent updates which specifically address permitting requirements and procedures for solar and wind ROWs were issued through a Federal Register notice (FR Vol 81, No 243, pages 92122-92230) on December 19, 2016 and became effective on January 17, 2017. The regulations defined requirements for competitive leasing within “designated leasing areas” (DLAs) and the non-competitive permitting process for issuing solar energy ROWs on other public lands. The 2017 rule streamlines the review processes and provides financial incentives designed to encourage development within DLAs. Specifically, the rule:
The rule also complements BLM's landscape-scale planning efforts, including the 2012 Solar PEIS, California's Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, and Arizona's Restoration Design Energy Project.