Summary: H.R.2172 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House amended, Part I (12/01/2011)

Utilizing America's Federal Lands for Wind Energy Act - Exempts projects determined by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or the Forest Service to be meteorological site testing and monitoring projects from environmental impact statement requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).

Defines a "meteorological site testing and monitoring project" as a project that is carried out on land administered by BLM or the Forest Service to test or monitor weather using towers or other devices, that is decommissioned within five years of its commencement, that provides meteorological information to such agencies, that causes less than one acre of soil or vegetation disruption at the location of each meteorological tower or other device and no more than five acres of soil or disruption within the proposed right-of-way for the project, and that is installed: (1) using existing access roads, (2) in a manner that does not require off-road motorized access other than one installation activity and one decommissioning activity along an identified off-road route approved by the BLM Director or the Chief of the Forest Service, (3) without construction of new roads other than upgrading of existing minor drainage crossings for safety purposes, and (4) without the use of digging or drilling equipment vehicles other than rubber-tired vehicles with gross weight ratings under 8,500 pounds.

Requires the BLM Director or Chief of the Forest Service: (1) to decide whether to issue a permit for such a project within 30 days after receiving an application for such permit; (2) during such period, to provide an opportunity for public comments and to consult with the heads of agencies that would be affected by issuance of the permit; and (3) to provide to the applicant reasons why an application is denied and an opportunity to remedy any deficiencies.

Requires BLM and the Forest Service to treat the meteorological information provided under this Act as proprietary information and to protect it against disclosure.