The Office of Project Management and Permitting coordinates state multi-agency regulatory reviews and authorizations, while collaboratively engaging federal agencies on land use planning and policy initiatives to maintain and enhance the state's economy, quality of life, and maximize the value of Alaska's vast natural resources.
- Permit coordination for large and complex natural resource development projects.
- Monitor federal actions; facilitate federal and state coordination and consultation; coordinate an efficient and reliable multi-agency review process; and prepare consolidated comments that present an unified state position.
- Engage in outreach and educational opportunities to inform the public, industry, legislature, and federal agencies of state interests and positions on federal actions, large projects, grants, and geo-spatial activities.
- Develop a statewide framework for geo-spatial data necessary for environmental monitoring and protection, sustainable economic development, public safety, and effective emergency response.
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|A: Result - Advance Permitting Efficiencies|
|A1: Core Service - Permit coordination for large and complex natural resource development projects.|
Target #1: Coordinate the review, permitting, and monitoring of natural and renewable resource development, transportation, and other specialized projects consistent with the missions of the department and participating state agencies.
OPMP Coordinated Projects
Analysis of results and challenges: Analysis of results and challenges: OPMP’s large project coordination core service is a networked program that builds on the combined regulatory authorities and expertise of state, federal, and local government agencies. OPMP’s coordination service provides a consistent and predictable permitting process for large complex natural resource development projects while reducing conflicts and redundancies for regulatory agencies.
The number and types of projects coordinated by OPMP annually indicates relative demand for the program, but it also gives OPMP perspectives on industry and market trends in Alaska. The increases in projects coordinated from FY2014 to FY2015 correlates with an increase in requests for focused permit coordination within the oil and gas sector (i.e. coordination of a single permit in some instances). The decrease in coordinated oil and gas projects from FY2015 to FY2018 represents completion of the focused permitting workload. The decrease in coordinated mining projects from FY2015 to FY2018, however, represents a slowdown in mineral exploration activities statewide, as well as OPMP completing coordinated reviews for two proposed mines in the Transboundary Region of British Columbia.
OPMP’s principle challenge for providing permit coordination is maintaining sufficient organizational capacity (i.e. staffing, budget resources, etc.) to adjust to fluctuations in coordinated project workloads. Such fluctuations are often driven by factors outside OPMP’s control (i.e. economic conditions, regulatory changes, commodity process, investment trends, etc.), but are an important metric for OPMP to gauge relative demand for large project coordination services.
Target #3: Establish and maintain Reimbursable Service Agreements (RSAs) with state agencies to ensure they have the necessary fiscal resources to participate effectively in the coordinated review of projects.
RSA Amounts by Departments
Analysis of results and challenges: Establishing and maintaining RSAs with state agencies provides a mechanism by which those agencies may recover expenditures resulting from greater demands large projects and intergovernmental coordination place on the regulatory agencies.
OPMP tracks RSA totals at the department-level as a measure of funding made available to state agencies that participate in OPMP’s large project coordination program. This metric also indicates the networked characteristic of the program. However, cost recovery is limited to actual expenditures, which OPMP reports under Target #2 as revenue.
OPMP’s principle challenge related to RSAs is maintaining continuity during program implementation despite staff turn-over within participating agencies. New staff may be unaware of available funding through OPMP’s project-related RSAs, or they may not understand the networked characteristic of the coordinated permitting program administered by OPMP. OPMP address this challenge through internal and external training and outreach efforts.
|B: Result - Protect the State's economic and social interests.|
|B1: Core Service - Monitor federal actions; facilitate federal and state coordination and consultation; coordinate an efficient and reliable multi-agency review process; and prepare consolidated comments that present an unified state position.|
Target #1: Coordinate multi-agency reviews of federal actions and compile consolidated state comments.
Federal Actions Reviewed
Analysis of results and challenges: State coordination while reviewing proposed federal actions is necessary to protect and advance state interests by presenting a consistent and unified response, in turn, developing a strong administrative record and preserving the state's standing to pursue legal challenges, when necessary. Without coordination, individual state agencies may selectively produce multiple, more narrowly focused comments, increasing potential for conflicting positions or information gaps.
The number of federal actions where OPMP has coordinated a multi-agency state response, or otherwise has facilitated consultation between state and federal agencies, provides a measure of potential impacts on state interests from national and regional federal land management or federal policy decisions.
Steady increases in the number of federal actions OPMP has engaged in between FY2014 and FY2017 are attributable, in part, to upward trends in the number of federal policies and actions proposed by the previous federal administration.
OPMP’s principle challenge is maintaining sufficient organizational capacity (i.e. staffing, training, expertise, budget resources, etc.) to anticipate and keep pace with the rate at which new or revised federal policies and actions affecting Alaska are being proposed.
|C: Result - Public Involvement, Community Outreach and Policy Development|
|C1: Core Service - Engage in outreach and educational opportunities to inform the public, industry, legislature, and federal agencies of state interests and positions on federal actions, large projects, grants, and geo-spatial activities.|
Target #1: Present and provide subject matter expertise at trainings, workshops, conferences, legislative hearings and local public meetings that address or affect specific state and federal actions or proposed development projects.
Number of Outreach Activities
Analysis of results and challenges: OPMP staff engages in public outreach efforts as a means of communicating state interests on a variety of natural resource issues with a diverse group of stakeholders. Examples of outreach activities include:
• Participation in public meetings, hearings, open houses, or other similar activities during project reviews;
• Responses to inquiries (e.g. citizens, media, etc.) related to natural resource development projects and federal actions;
• Presentations to organizations such as the National Petroleum Council (NPC), Alaska Miners Association, Resource Development Council, and other organizations representing Alaska industries;
• Presentations at various workshops providing an overview of the state’s interest and participation in the implementation of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA);
• Presentations and participation in meetings of the Citizen’s Advisory Commission on Federal Areas (CACFA); and
Presentations and participation at SRES hearings, energy conferences, and resource management conferences, describing unique challenges for wetlands compensatory mitigation under existing federal rule while sharing OPMP’s efforts to establish an In-Lieu Fee mitigation program to help provide additional mitigation opportunities for potential developers and project applicants
|D: Result - Expansion of Geospatial Data|
|D1: Core Service - Develop a statewide framework for geo-spatial data necessary for environmental monitoring and protection, sustainable economic development, public safety, and effective emergency response.|
Target #1: Ensure statewide spatial data and technology are available to as many potential users as possible and are developed, managed, procured and coordinated according to best practices.
Framework Mapping Layers
Analysis of results and challenges: Current and accurate base map information is lacking for much of Alaska, although the past few years have seen significant progress towards the goal of having 100% statewide coverage in each of eight themed map layers. These themes are imagery, elevation, hydrography, transportation, administrative boundaries, cadastral (parcel) boundaries, vegetation, and geodetic control. Meeting these targets is expected to result in significant cost efficiencies for the state through avoidance of duplicated efforts, leveraging resources, and ensuring that partner agencies have access to authoritative spatial data for informed decision making and collaborative project work.
Administrative and parcel boundaries are not yet included in the progress graph because these map themes have not yet been inventoried and assessed for completeness. Although there is center-line data available for Alaska’s primary and secondary roads through the U.S. Department of Transportation, there is no existing state program to update and maintain the state's road center-lines or maintain alternative transportation routes, such as pipeline corridors, trails, or marine highway routes. There is also no existing program to update and maintain the state's administrative or parcel boundaries Many boundaries claimed by separate agencies do not match up, leading to potential land management and ownership disputes.
Although the state coverage of imagery is shown at 99.5% complete, this is cumulative from 2010. To be reflective of current conditions, it is recommended that imagery should not be more than 5 years old. Only 24% of the state’s imagery holdings will be less than 5 years old in 2018.
Current as of July 19, 2019