Environment | Law

Blog: BIA regulations ease renewable energy in Indian Country





"The Department of the Interior announced new regulations on Tuesday that tribes hope will unlock economic development and renewable energy production on Indian lands. The final rule updates Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) regulations guiding the leasing approval process on tribal lands last modified in 1961.

The new rule [PDF] streamlines the federal surface leasing regulations on the 56 million acres of land held in trust by the Department of Interior for tribes. The regulations distinguish between residential, business, and wind and solar energy leases for the first time, come with enforceable timelines, and establish a new resource assessment and development process for wind and solar energy projects on Indian lands.

“This final step caps the most comprehensive reforms of Indian land leasing regulations in more than 50 years and will have a lasting impact on individuals and families who want to own a home or build a business on Indian land,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement."

Get the Story:
Justin Gerdes: Obama Administration Clears Barriers Holding Up Tribal Renewable Energy (Forbes 11/29)

Relevant Documents:
Fact Sheet | Q&A | Comparison of Existing and New Regulations | Final Rule

Related Stories:
BIA completes regulations to speed leasing in Indian Country (11/28)
BIA promises 'enforceable' deadlines for leases on trust lands (11/29)