Policy & Environmental Management

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Policy and Environmental Management oversees seven offices (listed below) with responsibility for ensuring environmental compliance, restoring natural resources injured as a result of oil spills or hazardous substance releases into the environment, advancing bilateral and multilateral international priorities, fulfilling the Secretary’s oversight of the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust, and carrying out major studies of policies and programs.

Office of Environmental Policy & Compliance (OEPC) serves as the Department of the Interior’s unifying and lead voice for a wide range of environmental issues and ensures the Department is in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), executive orders, and regulations; reviews environmental and natural resource aspects of non-Interior projects; and integrates sustainability into Department business practices.   OEPC also manages the Department’s funding program of long-term cleanups of hazardous materials and oversees the Department’s activities to protect and recover natural and cultural resources and historic properties during response and recovery actions.  The Office established the Inland Oil Spill Preparedness Project (IOSPP) to improve the Department’s overall preparedness and ability to prepare for and respond to inland oil spills in ways that can better protect the Nation’s natural and cultural resources, historic properties and Department lands, resources and interests.

Office of Restoration and Damage Assessment (NRDAR) oversees and manages the NRDAR Fund which supports the damage assessment and restoration of land and trust resources injured by oil spills or hazardous substance releases. The money received from responsible parties for restoration of natural resource injuries is used to address the injuries arising from site-specific damage assessment cases. Such recoveries are used for the planning, implementation, management, and monitoring of projects to restore, replace, or acquire the equivalent of the injured resources.  The funds received from settlements with the responsible parties are then used to restore the injured resources at no expense to the taxpayer. 

Office of Native Hawaiian Relations (ONHR) is responsible for fulfilling the Secretary’s oversight of the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust; advancing self-governance and self-determination by the Native Hawaiian Community; and enhancing communication and coordination between the Federal Government and the Native Hawaiian Community.  In 2016, ONHR released a guide that identifies Federal program and grant opportunities in health, housing, education and labor for which members of the Native Hawaiian Community and Native Hawaiian organizations may apply.  The guide was developed in partnership with Papa Ola Lōkahi, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), and the Native Hawaiian Education Council.

Office of Policy Analysis (PPA) is responsible for assisting in evaluating Departmental programs, developing new programs and major program changes, The Office coordinates and guides inter-agency and multi-bureau program development and policy analysis tasks, provides guidance to bureau and office analytic staffs, and undertakes issue analysis and decision documents on behalf of the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary – Policy, Management and Budget.  The Office also coordinates activities of the Department related to ocean, Great Lakes and coastal issues, science, climate change adaptation and resilience, the Arctic, and invasive species.  PPA produces an annual report on the Departments economic contributions to the National economy - in FY 2015 production and activities on DOI lands were associated with about $170 billion in value added, about $300 billion in economic output, and supported an estimated 1.8 million jobs.

The Office of Planning and Performance Management (PPP) provides leadership and guidance across the Department of the Interior on strategic planning, performance management, and organizational process design to improve operational effectiveness and efficiency, better inform future planning and budget formulation, and ensure transparency and accountability.  PPP works with bureaus and offices to develop effective strategic plans and to conduct performance analyses to help define future objectives, track progress, and facilitate decision making.  The Office develops and maintains Departmental Priority Goals to highlight and better ensure the achievement of the Secretary’s priorities and particular accomplishments for advancing the DOI mission.  The Office conducts quarterly reviews and conveys information to the public via performance.gov.  PPP advises senior leadership on whether goals and plans are suitable for achievement and whether the means for measuring progress toward achieving the goals are effectively utilized, assessing programmatic performance across the organization to advise Departmental and bureau planning.  The Office Director performs the role of Deputy Performance Improvement Officer in ensuring the Department's compliance with, and effective application of the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010.

The Orphaned Wells Program Office (OWPO) oversees implementation of Section 40601 of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which includes the administration of $4.6 billion in funding to address legacy pollution from orphaned oil and gas wells on federal, tribal, state, and private lands. The mission of the OWPO is to fulfill the orphaned wells requirements of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law by facilitating the effective, accountable, and efficient implementation of the state, tribal, and federal assistance programs to reduce methane emissions, prevent groundwater and surface water contamination, eliminate health and safety hazards, create good paying jobs and benefit historically disadvantaged communities. OWPO is committed to transforming a legacy of environmental pollution into a legacy of environmental stewardship by serving as a collaborative and empowering resource for states, tribes, federal agencies, and the broader orphaned wells community, working to identify, plug, remediate, and restore orphaned oil and gas wells and well sites. 

National Invasive Species Council (NISC) membership resides with the highest level of Federal leadership. The overarching duty of the Council is to provide the high-level vision and leadership necessary to sustain and expand Federal efforts to safeguard interests of the United States by preventing, eradicating, and controlling invasive species, as well as restoring ecosystems and other assets impacted by invasive species. NISC’s policy and planning activities benefit from the technical input provided by Federal agency staff and Federal inter-agency bodies working on invasive species issues, as well as non-Federal stakeholders. 

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