JPO, established in 1990, is six state and six federal agencies sharing similar regulatory or management responsibilities related to oil and gas pipelines in Alaska, most notably the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). Representatives from six of the 12 agencies are co-located and coordinate oversight of pipelines, and issue right-of-way leases and other permits needed for oil and gas projects. Cooperative agreements were developed between agencies to share staff, knowledge, equipment, and office space. This unique working environment eliminates duplication of work, is more customer oriented, and simplifies complicated and lengthy government processes.
ADNR and BLM, as land managers, co-manage the activities of the JPO. The SPCO administers 21 pipeline right-of-way leases, the most significant being TAPS. BLM administers three right-of-way grants with TAPS being the only operational pipeline.
JPO develops an annual work plan each year that includes objectives, authority, strategy, commitments, functions, and organizational structure. JPO’s commitments and objectives must comply with Government Performance and Results Act requirements. The State has agreed to work with BLM to implement an activity-based costing initiative to meet federal budgeting requirements.
There are a number of general objectives JPO strives to accomplish in the work plan:
Operationally, the various JPO sections perform the following planned functions:
The JPO is an appropriate intergovernmental structure to carry out the multi-agency mission of safely moving oil and gas to market while ensuring the protection of public health and safety and the environment. An Executive Council has been established to oversee the JPO. Administratively, the lead agencies within the JPO are the BLM and the ADNR. The Authorized Officer appointed by the BLM Alaska State Director, and the State Pipeline Coordinator appointed by the Commissioner of the ADNR, serve as Executive Co-Directors for the Executive Council. While all agencies retain their individual authorities, the staff work collaboratively and frequently together on administrative, technical, and regulatory issues. Agency personnel may participate in self-directed work teams, such as the Oil Spill Issues Team and the Corrosion Team. All agencies coordinate activities such as permitting and field oversight projects, as needed. Agencies with jurisdiction over an issue may take a lead role or take independent actions depending on the circumstances.
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