The goal was to expand a variety of ongoing environment-related projects with the oil and gas producing States, including technical and training assistance, regulatory streamlining, data management standardization, and dialogue on regional oil and gas issues.
This project was awarded under DOE solicitation DE-PS26-00FT40759.
Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC)
Oklahoma City, OK
Environmental issues are at the forefront of today's petroleum exploration and production (E&P) industry. States are constantly faced with new and emerging regulatory challenges on environmental issues, and IOGCC has identified environmental issues as a high-priority area through its Strategic Plan.
Tasks accomplished during the project include:
Recent regulatory streamlining efforts have been addressed by IOGCC in reference to the transfer of the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) regulatory action on public lands to the States. Progress has been slow; however, IOGCC expects a successful and satisfactory conclusion. Funding received under this portion of the grant will continue work begun on this project to bring the BLM-to-State transfer process to a successful and satisfactory conclusion.
Much of the value that State regulators derive from membership in the IOGCC comes from the opportunities for formal and one-on-one interaction among regulators from oil and gas producing States, along with governors, Federal regulators, and industry representatives. These cooperative opportunities to share strategies, information, and concerns about emerging regulatory issues are uniquely time- and cost-effective for participants and are very beneficial to the States' stakeholders.
Pilot projects were recently introduced in two States using hand-held personal computers to prepare oil and gas inspectors' forms. The inspectors complete the form on a hand-held Palm computer while in the field, and when they return to the office, the information is transferred electronically to the main computer system. This saves the agency the step of inputting the information into the main computer system. It also creates a more accurate and readily available report.
Another project under the area of data gathering is a work group consisting of State statisticians that work on oil and gas-related issues. They have met annually for the last few years to share information on their own States' oil and gas statistical work and to assist each other in improving and updating their oil and gas statistical information.
Other projects funded by this portion of the grant include continuous update of the IOGCC web page that assists oil and gas regulatory agencies and industry, as well as other Internet users throughout the world, in obtaining the most up-to-date information on energy issues.
Annually, a survey is sent to State oil and gas directors, requesting their input as to the type of training programs they need for their States. From the results of the survey, training programs are created by IOGCC staff or obtained from other sources as requested.
In 1996, EPA proposed new rules that would significantly expand the reporting requirements under the Federal toxic release inventory (TRI) program, which would have included the upstream petroleum industry. IOGCC compiled and delivered a report to EPA that identified information available to the public through State resources. The TRI subcommittee will continue a dialogue with EPA, monitor their information, and provide them with additional data as needed to realistically solve the rulemaking issue for the petroleum industry, as well as for EPA and the regulators.
The States have worked over the years with the Federal government to collaborate in eliminating regulatory overkill and for greater coordination and flexibility. IOGCC has tried to coordinate State and Federal regulatory actions that govern exploration and production of petroleum resources on public lands.
Building partnerships with nationally recognized environmental organizations, other organizations, and individuals has been a priority and will continue to be. Stakeholders are brought together to understand and resolve environmental issues and will continue on that path. Publication of new books relating to environmental subjects, as well as revised editions of out-of-date books, will continue to be projects addressed by IOGCC workgroups, subcommittees, consultants, and staff.
The Appalachian-Illinois Basin Directors is a group devoted to increasing communications among the State oil and gas regulatory agencies within the Appalachian and Illinois basins producing region. They meet to discuss regulatory issues common to the region, and they identify areas for workshops and seminars to meet the training needs of their agencies. The emphasis of the coordinated work is a wide range of topics relating to environmental compliance for natural gas and oil exploration and production.
Recently, the North American Coastal Alliance held a meeting and a field trip that contained both offshore and onshore components. The members visited an offshore drilling rig and production platform and a hydraulic fracturing site. At the meeting, participants discussed continued development and updates of the coastal regulatory location to be included on the IOGCC website.
The project is completed.
$926,940 (41% of total)