DOI Roles and Responsibilities

DOI Office and Bureau Roles and Responsibilities

In addition to the roles performed by OEPC described above, the roles of other DOI Bureaus and Offices are also described in the NCP.  Those roles are as follows:


  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS): Provides expertise to protect threatened and endangered species and their habitats, migratory birds, anadromous fish, certain marine mammals, sea turtles on-shore, and historic properties, including input on appropriate cleanup techniques, actions and end points.  Serves as the focal point within DOI for providing consultations to OSCs/RPMs regarding threatened or endangered species and their habitats.  Coordinates all federal permitting for and oversight of bird hazing, collection, and treatment activities and coordination of all federal permitting activities for hazing, collecting, rescuing, and holding migratory birds, certain marine mammals, and threatened and endangered species.  Authorizes entry to, and oversees activities on, national wildlife refuge system lands. 


  • National Park Service (NPS): Responsible for protection and management of units of the National Park System including, but not limited to, National Parks, National Recreation Areas, National Seashores, National Historic Sites, National Battlefield Parks, National Monuments, and Wild and Scenic Rivers.  Provides advice on and participates in activities affecting historic properties and cultural resources.  For incidents involving NPS lands and/or resources, NPS can participate in preparedness activities and response decision-making to address access, sensitive natural and cultural resources and historic properties, protection priorities, public health and safety, law enforcement, and other issues related to removal and remediation actions taken or planned on NPS-managed lands.  NPS also has independent authority under the Park System Resource Protection Act 16 U.S.C. 19jj for recovery of costs on response actions taken to minimize the destruction, loss, or injury to park system resources.


  • U.S. Geological Survey (USGS): Performs research in support of biological resource management; inventories, monitors, and reports on the status of and trends in the nation's biotic resources; and transfers the information gained in research and monitoring to resource managers and others concerned with the care, use, and conservation of the nation's natural resources.  USGS biologic research laboratories can advise and support NCP responses.  USGS can also provide support services related to geology, hydrology (ground water and surface water), geospatial information, and natural hazards.


  • Bureau of Land Management (BLM): Responsible for authorization of entry to, and resource protection of, the land and minerals managed by BLM.  BLM provides expertise in emergency response, particularly for fire and hazardous substances incidents.  Many BLM offices are equipped to provide assistance with sampling, investigation, surveillance, and security.  BLM also has expertise in on-shore energy production, cadastral survey, cultural and historic properties, natural resources, and federal property acquisition and disposal.


  • Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM): Promotes energy independence, environmental protection, and economic development through responsible, science-based management of offshore conventional and renewable energy and marine mineral resources.  BOEM’s Office of Environmental Programs conducts environmental reviews, including National Environmental Policy Act analyses and compliance documents for each major stage of energy development planning.  These analyses inform the bureau’s decisions on its five-year OCS oil and gas leasing program, and conventional and renewable energy leasing and development activities.  Additionally, BOEM’s scientists conduct and oversee environmental studies to inform policy decisions relating to the management of energy and marine mineral resources on the OCS.


  • Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE): Regulates and oversees the exploration, development, and production operations for oil and natural gas on the OCS to ensure that it is done in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.  BSEE’s functions include oil and gas permitting, facility inspections, regulations and standards development, safety research, environmental compliance and enforcement, and oil spill prevention and readiness for facilities located in both federal (OCS) and state waters seaward of the coastline that handle, store, or transport oil.  BSEE reviews and approves producers’ oil spill response plans and conducts readiness capability assessments through unannounced oil spill exercises and inspection of oil spill response equipment.  During oil spills from offshore facilities seaward of the coastline, BSEE provides expertise on source control activities under the direction of the federal OSC.  BSEE also funds applied oil spill response research and manages Ohmsett -- the National Oil Spill Response and Renewable Energy Test Facility -- through its Oil Spill Response Research Program.


  • Bureau of Reclamation (BOR): Provides advice and information on operation, control, and maintenance of water systems and related resources, including dams, reservoirs, and channels.  BOR has expertise in engineering and hydrology and can provide design services, construction, contracting, oversight and administration activity.


  • Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement:  Provides advice on surface coal mining, including abandoned coal mined lands, coal outcrop fires, coal mine wastes, waste bank stability, and toxic drainage.


  • Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA): Assists in coordinating and communicating with, and obtaining access to, Indian lands and tribal officials.  BIA has many programs to assist tribal governments and uphold Indian trust responsibilities.


  • Office of Insular Affairs: Provides assistance to American Samoa, Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  May provide intergovernmental expertise to foster communications to implement the NCP in these areas.


  • Office of Aviation Services: Provides access to DOI-approved aircraft, including on-scene inspection and certification teams, and arranges for air traffic control via the Federal Aviation Administration.

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