WASHINGTON – To better protect the Alaska coast from oil spills, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) recently signed an agreement (add hyperlink) with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) that strengthens the agencies’ coordination of oil spill planning, preparedness, and response offshore Alaska. The agreement updates and replaces a previous memorandum of understanding between the agencies from 1994.
“BSEE and ADEC currently work together to ensure offshore operators in Alaska are prepared to respond to discharges from their facilities, and this updated MOU will further improve collaboration between our agencies and ensure offshore lessees and operators are prepared to handle any discharges," said BSEE Preparedness Verification Branch Chief Bryan Rogers. “Using this approach will improve consistency in monitoring spill preparedness safeguards for offshore facilities where oil and oil-production related fluids are stored, processed, or transported.”
The MOU calls for BSEE and ADEC to cooperate in carrying out their respective regulatory responsibilities, and to identify opportunities for innovative and effective implementation of oil spill planning, preparedness, and response monitoring. Each must exercise its own rulemaking responsibilities independently and in accordance with applicable laws and procedures, but the two may coordinate to the extent possible on rulemaking initiatives. In conducting drills, the Parties will follow the objectives of the National Preparedness and Response Exercise Program (NPREP).
To promote oil spill response planning and preparedness, maximize oil spill response efficiency, and promote protection of human health and the environment, the parties agree to:
- Foster communication and cooperation.
- Promote compliance with applicable regulations.
- Optimize use of expertise and resources, collaborating on research projects whenever possible and making personnel available when feasible to support mutual work objectives, workshops, conferences, seminars, training opportunities, work teams, exercises, inspections, and enforcement.
- Coordinate efforts with respect to oil spill planning, preparedness, and response.
- Coordinate oversight and regulatory enforcement actions. For additional details or to review the memorandum visit: Alaska Oil Spill Planning, Preparedness, and Response
BSEE is the lead federal agency charged with improving safety, ensuring environmental protection, and promoting resource conservation related to offshore energy production on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.