News & Alerts
January 22, 2021 INTERIOR SECRETARY ISSUES TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF DELEGATED AUTHORITY
On January 20, 2021, The Interior Department issued a Secretarial Order (Order) temporarily elevating review of relevant agency decisions, including final agency actions, regulatory actions, and energy development, to the federal level. Affected actions include publication of Federal Register notices or notices of final agency action and actions taken under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), revisions to Resource Management Plans, grants of rights-of-way and other surface-disturbance authorizations, mining plan approvals, and issuance of onshore or offshore fossil fuels authorizations including leases, lease extensions and permits to drill, among other actions. The Order will remain in effect for 60 days unless extended, during which period Interior Department officials will control decision-making over these matters “for the purposes of reviewing questions of fact, law, and policy they raise.” Existing ongoing operations under valid leases will not be impacted, and the Order does not preclude issuance of leases, permits and other authorizations by those federal officials specified in the Order. In the event of an incident that might pose a threat to human health, welfare, or safety, any actions necessary will continue as previously required. The Secretarial Order may be read in its entirety at the following link: https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/elips/documents/so-3395-signed.pdf.