Laws, Regulations, Notices, Rules, Guidance and Management

National Legal Regimes


The chapter Canadian Laws and Regulations concerning Oil and Gas Operations from the assessment Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic-Effects and Potential Effects:
 - Canadian Laws and Regulations concerning Oil and Gas Operations - AMAP´s OGA (pdf - 67MB)


Federal Statutes and Executive Orders

Federal Regulations and Standards

Bureau of Ocean Energy and Management (BOEM)
BOEM's Alaska Region Office is responsible for managing the development of oil, natural gas, renewable energy and mineral resources on Alaska's Outer Continental Shelf in an environmentally and economically responsible way. It manages programs relating to lease management, exploration plans, environmental science, environmental analysis and resource evaluation.

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)
The Alaska Region works to promote safety, protect the environment and conserve resources offshore through vigorous regulatory oversight and enforcement.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for harassment and impact on marine mammals: provides permits, conservation plans, and enforcement procedures for the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

NOAA Fisheries Alaska Regional Office Alaska Regional Office

  • Protected Resources Division: Permits and authorizations are required under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to conduct activities that may result in the "taking" of a protected species.
  • Marine Mammal Authorization Program for incidental take of marine mammals. The Marine Mammal Authorization Program (MMAP) provides an annual exemption for the accidental injury or mortality of marine mammals.

Marine Protected Areas: Alaska Marine or coastal environments that are afforded some degree of legal protection for natural and/or cultural resources.

Fisheries Regulations

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
Laws & Regulations: Delivers vital public and military engineering services; partnering in peace and war to strengthen the United States’ security, energize the economy and reduce risks from disasters. The mission in the Alaska District is to serve the public interest in the state, providing responsive, quality service by balancing protection and reasonable use of aquatic resources through professional administration of the Regulatory Program.

Any entity planning to place structures or conduct work in navigable waters of the United States, or dump, place or deposit dredged or fill material in waters of the United States must first obtain a permit from the Corps of Engineers.

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

  • Protect people and the environment from the risks of hazardous materials transportation. To do this, we establish national policy, set and enforce standards, educate, and conduct research to prevent incidents. We also prepare the public and first responders to reduce consequences if an incident does occur.
  • Regulations

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
The Alaska Office is responsible for enacting the Endangered Species Act (ESA) which provides a critical safety net for America’s native fish, wildlife and plants.

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

Department of Transportation and Public Facilities

  • Design and Construction Standards
    • The Design and Construction Standards (D&CS) Section, part of the Division of Statewide Design & Engineering Services:
    • Establishes statewide policy, procedures, and standards for the design and construction of highways and airports
    • Develops and maintains relevant technical manuals
    • Reviews right-of-way appraisals and determines just compensation
    • Oil Spill Preparedness, Prevention and Response
  • Statewide Environmental Office 
    • The Statewide Environmental Management Office is responsible for the development and implementation of environmental policy and procedures.

Alaska Resources Library & Information Services
Alaska Resources Library and Information Services provides universal access to natural and cultural resources information.

Oil Spill Preparedness, Prevention and Response


Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)

  • District Response Advisory Team (DRAT): with expertise in spill management, response equipment, and response techniques, DRAT's main responsibility is to provide support to the Federal On Scene Commander during oil spills and HAZMAT releases in the 17th District.
  • Alaska Regional Response Team (ARRT): As an advisory board to the Federal On Scene Coordinator, the ARRT provides federal, state, and local governmental agencies with means to participate in response to pollution incidents.

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

  • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
    • Preparedness and Response: PHMSA provides technical expertise to industry and works closely with the response community to ensure the transportation system remains safe.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)

  • Spill Response and Restoration Program: Service Environmental Contaminant Specialists identify sensitive areas that provide important habitat for fish and wildlife, help guide protection and cleanup efforts to ensure that impacts to natural resources are minimized, and oversee rehabilitation of affected wildlife.

State of Alaska

Health Safety and Environmental Management

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)

Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA
  • Mission is to assure safe and healthful workplaces by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.
National Science Foundation (NSF)
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)

  • Marine environmental protection: The Marine Environmental Protection program develops and enforces regulations to avert the introduction of invasive species into the maritime environment, stop unauthorized ocean dumping, and prevent oil and chemical spills. This program is complemented by the Marine Safety program’s pollution prevention activities.
  • U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf
    • U.S. Coast Guard (USCG): The Coast Guard proposed regulations would require certain vessels engaged in OCS activities to develop, implement, and maintain a vessel-specific safety and environmental management system (SEMS).
§  USCG Marine safety:
The Coast Guard is in the midst of implementing the Marine Safety Enhancement Plan (MSEP). The MSEP is a multi-layered, several-year comprehensive program to enhance Marine Safety systems, knowledge, and processes in order to be more effective and efficient in promoting safe, secure, and environmentally sound maritime commerce. Specific tasks include bolstering inspector and investigator capacity, improving technical competencies, reinvigorating industry partnerships, improving mariner credentialing services, and expanding rulemaking capability to meet current and future needs of the maritime public and industry.

State of Alaska
Department of Labor and Workforce Development
§  Labor Standards and Safety
Occupational Safety and Health Standards-Petroleum Drilling and Production Standards
§  Alaska Occupational Safety and Health Administrative Code (ACC) - Title 8, Part 4, Occupational Safety and Health Division