Capping two years of interagency negotiations following the signing of a memorandum of nine federal agencies in 2009 to streamline the approval process, the Obama Administration announced plans October 5 to expedite the permitting and construction of seven interstate electric transmission projects that would total over 2,500 miles of high-voltage transmission lines across 12 states. The seven projects, five in the West, one in the Midwest, and one on the East Coast, will serve as pilot demonstrations for accelerating the siting of future transmission projects that cross federal lands. The National Parks Conservation Association cited concern October 6 that the move fails to protect several National Park Service sites.