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Interagency Working Group on Alaska Energy

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Department of Transportation




Overview of agency mission and activities

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) mission is to serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.  The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), through the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS), regulates hazardous liquid and natural gas pipelines and liquefied natural gas facilities throughout the U.S.  PHMSA through OPS implements the nations pipeline safety programs and regulations through pipeline rulemaking, safety inspections, construction inspections, compliance inspections, enforcements, accident investigations, standards updates, research, and safety awareness programs. The Maritime Administration (MARAD), through its delegated authority granted by the Secretary of Transportation, authorizes the construction, operation and construction of offshore oil and natural gas energy facilities  located beyond State seaward boundaries within the United States. MARAD’s Deepwater Port Licensing Program provides a clearly defined and time sensitive process that is designed to accelerate the construction of offshore energy facilities. This process requires consultation and collaboration with over 15 Federal, state. and local agency partners to ensure comprehensive and highly technical application reviews are conducted by appropriate governmental agencies.

Primary relevant mandates

PHMSA regulates pipeline safety under Title 49 U.S.C. 601101 et seq. (the pipeline safety laws) and Title 49 U.S.C. 5101 et seq. (the hazardous material transportation laws).  The relevant pipeline safety laws  for this Interagency Working Group are composed of:

49 CFR Part 190  - Pipeline Safety Programs and Rulemaking Procedures
49 CFR Part 191  - Transportation of Natural and Other Gas By Pipeline: Annual Reports; Incident Reports; and Safety Related     Condition Reports
49 CFR Part 192 - Transportation of Natural and Other Gas By Pipeline: Minimum Federal Safety Standards
49 CFR Part 193 - Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities: Federal Safety Regulations
49 CFR Part 194  - Response Plans for Onshore Oil Pipelines
49 CFR Part 195 -  Transportation of Hazardous Liquids by Pipeline

By delegated authority, MARAD has the ultimate authority to issue, transfer, amend, or reinstate a license for the construction, operation, and decommissioning of a Deepwater Port.  The relevant laws are as follows:

33 U.S.C. 1503  - License for ownership, construction, and operation of deepwater port
33 U.S.C. 1509 - Marine environmental protection and navigational safety