The Bureau of Land Management Branch of Lands and Realty oversees the Federal Agreement and Grant of Right of Way for the 800-mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, working with other federal and state agencies to ensure compliance with the Grant, state and federal laws, regulations, and industry-accepted codes and standards. The Pipeline Monitoring and Environmental Compliance Section (PMECS) accomplishes its work through field inspections and participation in emergency response exercises to verify adherence to sound engineering principles; compliance with terms of the Grant, current codes and standards; adequacy of emergency response procedures and proficiency in the usage of response equipment. The PMECS is located in Anchorage, Alaska with field offices in Valdez and Fairbanks.
The BLM is a member of a consortium of federal and state agencies commonly referred to as the Joint Pipeline Office (JPO), which was set up in March 1990 to provide full partnership for state and federal agencies to monitor environmental protection, pipeline system integrity, public and worker safety, and to ensure regulatory compliance. Federal member agencies include the BLM, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), U.S. Coast Guard, and the Department of Homeland Security. State of Alaska agencies include the departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Compliance, Labor, Fish and Game, and Public Safety.
Trans-Alaska Pipeline System in a Nutshell
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) is an engineering marvel. Crossing permafrost, mountainous terrain, very active seismic zones, and 800 bodies of water, it’s been carrying the lifeblood of Alaska’s economy since 1977.