In Iceland there is a consultation group of supervising authorities, i.e. government agencies, responsible for prospecting, exploration and production of hydrocarbons. The role of the consultation group is, among other things, to ensure an exchange of information and to co-ordinate public control supervising such activities in Iceland. Each government agency in the group has a specific role in accordance with their fields of speciality. The group is led by the National Energy Authority of Iceland which acts as a contact point for all inquiries regarding hydrocarbon activities.
The main responsibilities of the National Energy Authority are to advise the Government of Iceland on energy issues and related topics, promote energy research and administrate development and exploitation of the energy resources. The National Energy Authority grants licenses for prospecting, exploration and production of hydrocarbons and supervises their execution in accordance with the Hydrocarbons Act.
Environment Agency of Iceland
The role of the Environment Agency is to promote the protection as well as sustainable use of the natural resources of Iceland, as well as public welfare by helping to ensure a healthy environment, and safe consumer goods. The areas of operation of the Agency include the evaluation of environmental impact assessment and development plans, the protection of the marine environment, and the coordination of pollution emergency response.
Icelandic Coast Guard
The main role of the Coast Guard, in addition to law enforcement issues and search and rescue (SAR), consists of the general protection and conservation of natural resources in the broadest sense of the term. This includes pollution monitoring, environmental disasters, maritime safety and illegal fishing.
The Icelandic National Planning Agency is a state authority responsible for the administration, monitoring and implementation of the Planning and Building Act (in Icelandic), the Environmental Impact Assessment Act (EIA) and the Strategic Environmental Assessment Act (SEA) in Icelandic. The Agency determines whether a project is subject to environmental impact assessment. Regarding projects that are always subject to an EIA, the Agency makes a decision on the scoping document proposal of the developer and finally gives an opinion on the proposed project and resulting activities, based on the environmental impact statement of the developer.
Maritime Administration (IMA), handles numerous activities in the field of maritime administration and supervision, such as operation of lighthouses and navigational systems, vessel registration, maritime safety and supervision of ship surveys, manning and certification. The IMA administers issues concerning the prevention of marine pollution to the extent that they concern ships and their equipment. The IMA also conducts research into ship stability and ship and harbour security and harbour development, coastal changes and coastal protection.
The Civil Aviation Administration carries out civil aviation regulatory tasks and safety inspections.
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The role of the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health (AOSH) is to prevent accidents and health damage in the workplace. Their function is complimentary to that of the Icelandic Maritime Administration as regards health and safety issues outside the Icelandic mainland.
The Iceland Construction Authority was established 1st January 2011 and replaced the Iceland Fire Authority. The new Authority is responsible for the administration of laws and regulations regarding Construction, Fire Safety and Electrical Safety matters. The Authority serves the professionals that work within the field of Construction, Fire safety and Electrical safety.
The main areas of activities of the Marine Research Institute are to conduct research on the marine environment around Iceland and its living resources, to provide advice to the government on catch levels and conservation measures, and to inform the government, the fishery sector and the public about the sea and its living resources.
The Institute of Natural History conducts basic and applied research and monitoring on the nature of Iceland, with a focus on botany, ecology, taxonomy, geology and zoology. It maintains scientific specimen collections and databases, assembles literature on the natural history of Iceland and operates the Icelandic Bird-Ringing Scheme.
The role of the Radiation Safety Authority is to undertake safety measures against radiation from radioactive substances and radiological equipment.