Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC representatives observe Alyeska spill responders conduct a bullet-strike drill
The broad mission of DEC is to conserve, improve, and protect Alaska's natural resources and environment and to control water, land, and air pollution to enhance the health, safety, and welfare of the people of the State of Alaska and their overall economic and social well-being. As a participating member of the JPO, and as a SPCO liaison agency, the DEC accomplishes its mission through implementing state statutes and regulations governing jurisdictional pipelines and facilities throughout Alaska. Three full-time DEC positions are co-located within the SPCO: a designated DEC Liaison who provides overall coordination as well as specific technical and policy advice and two environmental program specialists whose duties center on oversight of oil spill prevention and response readiness.
The DEC liaison provides coordination and policy guidance for the implementation of requirements of the air quality, water, environmental health, and contaminated sites divisions of DEC. These divisions oversee wastewater operations and permits, solid waste operations and permits, air quality permits, water quality permits and management of contaminated sites. The DEC liaison works with SPCO staff to ensure authorizations or permits from the SPCO are consistent with DEC statutes and regulations. The DEC liaison is also a member of the JPO management team.
The DEC's two environmental program specialists focus exclusively on oil discharge prevention and contingency plan requirements for TAPS and the Valdez Marine Terminal. As part of the DEC Spill Prevention and Response Division's Industry Preparedness Program, the specialists review and approve the contingency plans for TAPS and the VMT on a five-year basis. The specialists also review and approve amendments for TAPS and VMT contingency plans and ensure compliance with DEC's prevention regulations. Oversight of contingency plan activities includes facility and response equipment inspections, records audits and conducting and evaluating oil spill response exercises. DEC's prevention regulations provide for direct oversight of specific items such as facility piping, crude oil storage tanks, secondary containment and TAPS mainline. For technical analysis of compliance with prevention regulations, the environmental program specialists are actively supported by the DEC Industry Preparedness Program's licensed professional engineering staff as well as the engineering staff within the JPO.