GeneralIn the United States, there are Federal and State jurisdictions, each regulated by similar Federal and State laws. Different laws and agencies are involved in the regulatory process depending on where the activity is taking place: onshore or marine areas, State, Federal, Native or private lands, wilderness, parks or forests, or under rivers and wetlands. In the U.S. Arctic, lands and subsurface rights belong to various individuals, entities, and governments. Oil and gas resources under State lands, including marine areas out to 5 km from shore, and privately owned lands belong to and are regulated by the State of Alaska. Marine areas beyond 5 km from shore are regulated by the Federal Government. Some oil and gas activities, such as drilling, conducted on Federal lands located within the boundaries of the State are regulated concurrently by both State and Federal agencies. Resources beneath Native lands are owned by the Native Corporation, or local government, and are regulated by the State of Alaska and also possibly by the Federal Government. There are many agencies involved in regulating oil and gas activities in the U.S. Arctic.
National Arctic Policy DocumentsArctic Region Policy (2009)
This directive establishes the policy of the United States with respect to the Arctic region and directs related implementation actions.
Managing for the Future in a Rapidly Changing Arctic: A Report to the President (2013)
This report calls for an integrated management strategy to help Arctic residents who are dealing with rapid impacts on their resources and traditional ways of life, at the same time that new economic activity and opportunities are emerging.
National Strategy for the Arctic Region (2013)
Through the National Strategy for the Arctic Region, USA articulates its strategic priorities to position the United States to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. It will seek to prioritize and effectively integrate the work of Federal departments and agencies with activities that are already underway in the State of Alaska and at the international level. And it will partner with the State of Alaska and Alaska Natives, as well as the international community and the private sector, to develop innovative solutions and new ways of operating.
U S Arctic Marine Transportation System: Overview and Priorities for Action Report (2013)
The U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony R. Foxx submitted to President Obama the CMTS report on the U.S. Arctic marine transportation system (MTS). The report calls for near- and long-term priority actions to improve the U.S. Arctic MTS to safeguard anticipated increases in vessel traffic in the U.S. Arctic.
Federal AgenciesBureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)
BOEM is responsible for offshore leasing, resource evaluation, review and administration of oil and gas exploration and development plans, renewable energy development, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis and environmental studies.
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)
BSEE is responsible development and enforcement of safety and environmental regulations, permitting offshore exploration, development and production, inspections, offshore regulatory programs, oil spill response and newly formed training and environmental compliance programs, and Arctic technology and oil spill research.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Oversees regulation and enforcement of waste, oil and hazardous discharges and air emissions and monitoring.
See also: Regional EPA website in Alaska.
US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
Administers the Endangered Species Act (ESA) which provides protection measures for America’s native fish, wildlife and plants.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Marine mammal and fisheries management, protection, permits, and research.
o NOAA Arctic Theme Page Provides access to widely distributed Arctic data and information for scientists, students, teachers, academia, managers, decision makers, and the general public.
o NOAA Fisheries Alaska Regional Office
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
Offshore dredging and dumping permits. Wetlands protection.
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)
Offshore oil and hazardous spill response and coordination. Also search and rescue, security and law enforcement.
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
Regulates aspects of offshore pipelines and production platforms.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
OSHA's mission is to assure safe and healthful workplaces by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.
Interagency Working Group on Coordination of Domestic Energy Development and Permitting in Alaska
A federal, interagency working group established by Executive Order 13580 for coordinating the safe, responsible, and efficient development of conventional and renewable energy resources in Alaska
These agencies are responsible for marine areas to 5 kilometers from shore. Departments responsible for offshore leasing, permits, research, spill response, revenue management, economic resource analysis, environmental protection, safety, inspections and enforcement:
State of Alaska Agencies
ü Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
ü Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC)
ü Department of Natural Resources
ü Department of Fish and Game
ü Department of Labor and Workforce Development
ü Department of Transportation and Public Facilities
ü Department of Public Safety
ü Department of Revenue