Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Alaska Region Director Mark Fesmire traveled to Helsinki, Finland, this week for the fifth meeting of the Arctic Council’s Task Force for Oil Pollution Prevention on November 24 and 25, 2014. This task force provides an opportunity for member nation representatives to share best practices, processes, and regulatory approaches for oil pollution prevention.
Mr. Fesmire, who is also BSEE’s senior onsite federal official for U.S. Arctic areas offshore Alaska, represents BSEE and the U.S. Department of the Interior as the Co-Head of the U.S. Delegation for the meeting. Previous meetings for this task force were held earlier this year in Oslo, Norway; Reykjavik, Iceland; Ottawa, Canada; and Nuuk, Greenland. In addition to the Task Force for Oil Pollution Prevention, BSEE also plays a leading role within Arctic Council working groups, including the Emergency Preparedness, Prevention and Response Working Group and the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment Working Group. BSEE officials such as Mr. Fesmire represent the U.S. as technical experts on offshore energy issues.
The United States is one of eight permanent member Nations of the Arctic Council. Other members include Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. The Council also includes six international organizations that have permanent participant status and represent Arctic Indigenous Peoples.
For more information on the Arctic Council, please visit www.arctic-council.org.