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Tribal Energy and Environmental Information Clearinghouse: Environmental resources for tribal energy development
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TEEIC Laws & Regulations Section Guide

Laws and Regulations: Land Use & Siting

Federal statutes (laws), Executive Orders, and regulations concerned with land use and siting.

Follow the links below to learn about Federal statutes (laws), Executive Orders, and regulations that may apply to specific activities associated with energy development that may impact land use and siting.

Legislation requiring the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to establish standards promoting aircraft safety. Regulations established under this Act (49 USC 44718 et seq.) require FAA notification prior to the construction of any structure that (1) is located within 20,000 ft (6,100 m) or less of an existing public or military airport or (2) extends more than 200 ft above ground level or exceeds specified parameters. These notification requirements may be applicable to certain energy development activities. The FAA regulations promulgated under this Act are available at 14 CFR 77.

Legislation to preserve, protect, develop, and where possible, to restore or enhance, the resources of the Nation's coastal zone. Regulations issued under the CZMA (16 USC 1451 et seq.) establish requirements for state coastal management programs and grant application procedures. The CZMA also established the National Estuary Research Reserve System and National Marine Sanctuaries and requires that federal actions be consistent with policies of an approved Coastal Zone Management Program established by any coastal state, territory, or tribe. Regulations issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) pursuant to the CZMA are available at 15 CFR 921-930.

Legislation intended to minimize the impact federal programs have on the unnecessary and irreversible conversion of farmland to nonagricultural uses. Under this Act (7 USC 4201 et seq.), federal agencies are required to develop and review their policies and procedures to implement the FPPA every 2 years. The regulations establish requirements and guidance for federal agencies to consider the adverse effects of their programs on the preservation of farmland, consider alternative actions that could lessen adverse effects, and ensure that their programs are compatible with state and local government and private programs and policies to protect farmland. The full suite of regulations promulgated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under this Act is available at 7 CFR 658.

Legislation establishing public land policy and establishing guidelines for the administration, management, protection, development, and enhancement of public lands. Regulations under FLPMA (43 USC 1701 et seq.) established the procedures the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) follows in managing public lands. Elements of FLPMA that could apply to energy development activities are the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (43 USC 2301 et seq.) and the Federal Land Exchange Facilitation Act (43 USC 1716), which address land sales, disposals, and exchanges. The full suite of regulations promulgated by the BLM is available at 43 CFR 1600-9260. Although FLPMA addresses the management of public lands, not tribal lands, the BLM must comply with FLPMA regulations when it is involved in reviewing and approving energy development activities on tribal lands.

Legislation authorizing the Secretary of Commerce to designate and protect areas of the marine environment as national marine sanctuaries. Under this Act (16 USC 1433 et seq.), an area may be designated as a national marine sanctuary due to its conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, scientific, cultural, archeological, educational, or esthetic qualities. Day-to-day management of national marine sanctuaries has been delegated to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Regulations promulgated by NOAA under this Act are available at 15 CFR 922. These regulations prohibit specific kinds of activities, describe and define the boundaries of the designated national marine sanctuaries, and set up a system of permits to allow the conduct of certain types of activities (that would otherwise not be allowed).

Legislation issued to promote the preservation of, public access to, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open air, outdoor areas, and historic resources through the establishment of a national trail system. This Act (16 USC 1241 et seq.) created a series of trails; each designated trail is administered by a federal agency: either the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the U.S. Forest Service, or the National Park Service (NPS). In some instances, the trails are administered by two agencies in cooperation with one another. The full suite of regulations issued by the BLM under this Act is available at 43 CFR 8351.

Sections 9 and 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 USC Sections 401 and 403) require permission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to construct any bridge, dike, dam, or causeway in or over any navigable water or to cause any diversion or obstruction to the navigable capacity of any water in the United States, including any pier, boom, breakwater, or jetty. Regulations promulgated by the USACE under this Act are available at 33 CFR 320-332.

Legislation providing for the collection and analysis of soil and related resource data and the appraisal of the status, condition, and trends for these resources. The Act (16 USC 2001 et seq.) provides for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to possess information, technical expertise, and a system for providing assistance to land users with respect to conservation and use of soils, plants, woodlands, watershed protection, and related resource uses. The full suite of regulations promulgated by the USDA under this Act is available at 7 CFR 600-699.

Legislation regulating the environmental effects of coal mining in the United States. This Act (30 USC 1201 - 1328) created the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) within the U.S. Department of the Interior to establish and oversee programs for regulating active coal mines on federal and state lands and reclamation of abandoned mine lands. The regulation of active mines is intended to prevent environmental degradation as a result of coal mining and includes environmental performance standards, permit requirements, reclamation bond requirements, inspection and enforcement authority, and restrictions on mining on certain lands. The reclamation program consists of an Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation (AML) Fund to pay for the cleanup of abandoned mine sites through both state and federal programs and to address issues associated with landslides, land subsidence, and fires associated with coal mining. The full suite of regulations promulgated by the OSM under SMCRA is available at 30 CFR 700-955.

Legislation establishing that certain selected rivers which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected. Regulations issued under the WSR Act (16 USC 1271 et seq.) establish the procedures by which the designated wild and scenic rivers will be managed. The full suite of regulations issued by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) under this Act is available at 43 CFR 8351.

Legislation to establish a National Wilderness Preservation System. Regulations issued under the Wilderness Act (16 USC 1131 et seq.) define what Wilderness Areas are, how they must be managed by federal agencies, and allowable and prohibited uses of Wilderness Areas. The full suite of Wilderness Act regulations promulgated by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is available at 43 CFR 6301-6305.