DoD Siting Clearinghouse, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Installations and Environment

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Question: What is the DoD Siting Clearinghouse?

      Answer: The DoD Siting Clearinghouse coordinates the efforts of all Department of Defense (DoD) Components in their official assessments of energy generation and transmission projects for impacts on the DoD mission.

      The Clearinghouse was established in the summer of 2010 and formally authorized by Congress through section 358 of Public Law 111-383 in January 2011. Its purpose is to coordinate and oversee the review of project applications filed with the Secretary of Transportation pursuant to section 44718 of title 49, United States Code, and referred to the DoD by the Department of Transportation (specifically the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)). In addition to this internal-DoD function, the Clearinghouse serves as an entry point for industry and other Federal, State, Tribal and local entities that wish to engage DoD in the mission compatibility evaluation process.

  • Question: Who is involved in the Clearinghouse-initiated review?

      Answer: Multiple organizations in DoD share the responsibility for such an effort.

      The Clearinghouse is comprised of multiple DoD Components including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Joint Staff, NORAD, and other critical offices. The Clearinghouse is Chaired by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations & Environment and co-chaired by the Principal Deputy Director for Operational Test & Evaluation and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness.

      In short, rather than attempting to discern which of the various DoD organizations may be affected by your proposal, contact the Clearinghouse to do that for you.

  • Question: When does the Clearinghouse review a project?

      Answer: The Clearinghouse oversees both formal and informal project review processes.

      The formal process begins with the referral of a project application submitted for permitting through the Federal Aviation Administration's Obstruction Evaluation/Airport Airspace Analysis (OE/AAA) process, which is automatically assigned to the DoD for review.

      The informal review process may begin with a request directly to the Clearinghouse from a project developer or a landowner on whose property a proposed project is being sited. Other informal reviews are initiated by other Federal, State, or local government agencies or Indian tribes, such as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Land Management, or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The informal review can be conducted with specific site data or general area data. The response will reflect the level of fidelity you provide.

  • Question: What happens once the DoD begins a formal review of a project?

      Answer: In the formal review processes, the Clearinghouse provides information that it receives about the proposed project to experts in the various Military Departments and DoD Components. Then, technical and operational studies are conducted and provided to the Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse submits a single DoD position to the FAA as part of the OE/AAA review.

      If the DoD review finds that a project may pose unacceptable impacts to national security, the Clearinghouse will seek to mitigate any impact prior to submitting a negative recommendation to the FAA. The proponent will be asked to participate in a partnership with the DoD called a Mitigation Response Team (MRT) in order to explore potential mitigation options that ensure both continued DoD operations, testing, and training as well as energy development.

      Examples of mitigation agreements that have been signed between the DoD and developers are posted in the Library section of the Clearinghouse website.

  • Question: How do you request an informal review and what information is needed?

      Answer: Informal Reviews are recommended early in the siting process. We recognize you may not have definitive plans yet, but early engagement is the key to preventing issues during the formal review process. The goal of the informal review is to identify area of potential impact, and once identified, to refer the proponent to the proper DoD stakeholder to engage in a dialogue.

      To request an informal review, please send the following information to the Siting Clearinghouse at At a minimum, anyone requesting an informal review must provide:

      1. Contact Information, including the name of the company, vendor or developer, as well as address, city, state and zip code; Project Point of Contact, including first and last name; Contact phone, fax, and email; and Project name, nearest city or county, and state.

      2. The geographic location of the project, including its latitude and longitude.

      3. The nature of the project.

      In order to provide the most expeditious review, the following information is recommended:

      1. Contact Information. This includes the name of the company, vendor or developer, as well as address, city, state and zip code; Project Point of Contact, including first and last name; Contact phone, fax, and email; and Project name, nearest city or county, and state.

      2. The geographic location of the project -- including latitude and longitude. Please include Lat/Longs in DMS (Degrees, Minutes, Seconds) for each turbine tower in Excel format and include a map of your project in PowerPoint or Adobe .pdf format, if possible.

      3. The nature of the project (i.e., wind, solar, etc.) and the following information:

      a. Number of Structures
      b. Wind Turbine (Include turbine height, hub height, blade tip height, and turbine farm layout)
      c. Solar (Include solar tower or panel height, solar layout, and solar array acreage, with map)
      d. Geothermal (Include geothermal layout/acreage, with map)
      e. Transmission, Utility and Power Lines (height and type of structure(s), substation(s) tie-in, if known, kV of line(s), and map of route)
      f. BLM ID, NEPA number, or any Federal/State/Local identifiers, if applicable.
      g. Associated Transmission/Lines for project and obstructions to structure (Guideline supports, lighting)
      h. Intended grid connection with location (DMS)
      i. Shape File for Project (LAT/LONGs in DMS and Decimals)

  • Question: Why doesn't the DoD just tell me where I can or cannot develop?

      Answer: In most cases, the DoD doesn't own the land and cannot prohibit development. The Clearinghouse seeks opportunities to ensure impacts to military operations are considered appropriately in siting and permitting decisions. These reviews also help developers identify potential compatibility issues as early as possible.

      The military assessment includes diverse missions, from the testing and training of military personnel and equipment, to the operation of radar used for air traffic control or national defense. The assessment of an impact of any proposal requires an active, specific review of the characteristics of an energy proposal and the nature of the mission in the area. The analysis may reveal subtle, yet important, differences in missions or the project that result in different conclusions within a particular geographic area that may not be readily apparent. The negotiation process within the MRT will help the stakeholders understand the reason for concern about a project. It is possible that a certain level of interference is acceptable, but the cumulative effect of multiple projects in a specific location can be so great that the level of interference has incrementally become unacceptable.

  • Question: How can I get electronic data files of the locations of DoD installations and ranges (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps) to use when I plan my energy project?

      Answer: DoD publishes the boundaries of its installations and ranges at, and these geospatial data files (shape files) can be downloaded, along with helpful "read me" release notes, from the following sites:

      Installation Ranges Data File (zip)

      Read Me Release Notes

      You can request copies of geospatial data (shape files) for the locations of special use airspace and military training routes by contacting the Clearinghouse
  • Question: What happens if the DoD opposes my project?

      Answer: The DoD will never oppose a project during the developer-initiated informal review process. The goal of these informal reviews is to identify areas of potential impact, and once identified, to refer the proponents to the proper DoD stakeholders for further discussion.

      For formal reviews, the Clearinghouse oversees a process that clears the vast majority of projects of DoD concern. The few that have potential impacts and warrant study will receive thorough discussion with the proponent in the MRT partnership. In the rare event that a project presents an unacceptable risk to national security and all options have been exhausted without acceptably mitigating the predicted adverse effects to the DoD mission, the DoD may recommend the FAA issue a Determination of Hazard in the OE/AAA process.

      By law, and by virtue of formal delegation, only the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) or the Deputy Secretary of Defense (DEPSECDEF) may make such a determination with respect to a project proposal. Upon making such a determination, the SECDEF or the DEPSECDEF must notify the appropriate Secretary as well as the Congressional defense committees of the basis for that determination.

  • Question: The informal review requires me to provide sensitive proprietary data. Will you protect that data?

      Answer: Yes, your information will be protected and reviewed only within DoD to assess potential impacts on military missions. If your request for an informal review includes information that is proprietary, you must mark the documents as "Proprietary," or "Business Sensitive", to ensure that they are properly safeguarded upon receipt. Do not mark documents as "Confidential", as that can be easily be mistaken for a national security classification. We will protect properly marked proprietary information under exemption to the Freedom of Information Act.

  • Question: Does the Clearinghouse look at proposed offshore wind projects?

      Answer: Yes, the Clearinghouse will review any energy project you have. The Clearinghouse also works closely with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on its release and permitting of offshore lease blocks.

  • Question: What are the options available to mitigate the effects energy development can have on the DoD mission?

      Answer: The Mitigation Response Teams have identified and implemented a variety of mitigation strategies. The chosen strategy for each is based on unique interaction of specific projects and military missions. The most common mitigation strategies are done within DoD, as radar is optimized or mission activity is altered to account for degraded operational area or obstructions. Other projects have elected to modify the siting plan or location, to curtail wind turbine operations at agreed-upon circumstances, or to provide technical solutions to overcome radar performance degradation.

      Many of the options are contained in past agreements signed by DoD and developers that are posted in the Library of the Clearinghouse website.

  • Question: What about for structures below 200 feet? Should we not worry about those? Is there a possible concern about structures say between 75 and 199 feet?

      Answer: The common understanding of FAA filings at 200 feet Above Ground Level (AGL) may give the impression that there is no concern about shorter turbines. In general, density, height and distance (from a mission or radar) will affect the impact of a project on military operations, but none of those factors have a specific go/no go value. Transmission lines may also impact DoD mission. The Clearinghouse informal review process is open to all projects of interest.

  • Question: What are some ways for local governments to encourage early coordination between energy developers, land owners, and the military?

      Answer: State and Local governments can encourage early coordination among all parties through open communication. These Planning Offices can encourage coordination by authorizing renewable energy incentive districts in areas that are compatible with military airspace requirements.

      Opportunity to protect Military Operations:

      • Establish provisions requiring consideration of military testing, training and operations in the energy permitting/siting process
      • Completed Energy project applications must include coordination with the military to learn of any know potential impacts
      • Establish working committees to share information on energy projects with the military to learn of any impacts to DoD mission
      • Encourage energy generation and transmission developers to obtain a Military Impact Statement (from the Base or Site Clearinghouse) on proposed energy, and/or transmission projects which are in the vicinity of installations, military flight paths, or may impact radar and low level flights

  • Question: How will the Clearinghouse possibly respond to what must be an enormous number of projects nationwide?

      Answer: The Clearinghouse was established by DoD in 2010 to protect DoD mission capabilities from incompatible development by collaborating with DoD Components and external stakeholders. The Clearinghouse processed over 2300 projects in FY2014. This has been the greatest number of projects processed since the inception of the Siting Clearinghouse in 2010. The vast majority of projects present no unacceptable impacts to DoD mission and the Clearinghouse and Services staffs have worked to identify and clear those projects with increasing efficiency.

  • Question: If we request review by the Clearinghouse, but don't hear back within our local timelines for project review (specified in any notices), should we assume that the military has no objections?

      Answer: No. No later than 50 days after receiving an informal request from the requester, the Clearinghouse shall evaluate all comments and recommendations received and provide a coordinated response. If a final answer cannot be determined within this time frame, the Clearinghouse will communicate with the requestor. If the requester has a “local” timeline that is shorter than the 50 day cycle, please disclose upon submittal of the informal request.

  • Question: Does the Clearinghouse become involved in any of the related energy purchase agreements with regard to the energy produced by these projects?

      Answer: No. The Clearinghouse does not enter into energy purchase agreements. The Clearinghouse focuses on preserving the DoD mission (alongside renewable energy project development) through an effective Mission Compatibility Evaluation process.

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