BOEM, State of Alaska Commit to Working Together on Offshore Resources

Release Date
Anchorage, AK

Contacts: John Callahan

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the State of Alaska designed to ensure continued close cooperation in matters relating to resource exploration and development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

“The State of Alaska and BOEM have always worked hand-in-glove when it comes to safely developing resources from Alaska’s OCS lease areas," said Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Sara Longan. "This MOU will facilitate better and more frequent coordination with our federal counterparts. The State of Alaska will continue to offer our expertise and support for holding routine lease sales in Alaska’s prolific OCS basins.”

Part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, BOEM’s mission is to manage development of OCS energy and mineral resources in an environmentally and economically responsible way. The OCS begins three miles offshore; the submerged lands between this boundary and the shoreline are managed by the State of Alaska.

“The different jurisdictions aside, both the State and BOEM understand that this is one big ocean,” said Dr. Walter Cruickshank, acting director for BOEM. “To manage these resources and protect the environment in a responsible way, it is critical the state and federal agencies involved communicate with each other and work together whenever possible. This MOU codifies and formalizes those practices and gives both parties a blueprint for moving forward.”

Some of the areas highlighted for cooperation include:

  • The process of planning lease sales
  • Industry plans to conduct OCS exploration development or production activities
  • Environmental reviews
  • National Historic Preservation Act consultation
  • Air emissions and air-quality monitoring
  • Wastewater discharges from oil and gas activities

The MOU will be in effect for the next three years, and can be extended if both parties agree.