Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director James Watson and U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Joseph Servidio announced yesterday at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas a new Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that will strengthen the working relationship between their two agencies on the management of safety and environmental protection responsibilities on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
“Both BSEE and the Coast Guard have specialized expertise in the management of safety and environmental protection programs offshore,” said Director Watson. “This agreement with the Coast Guard will bring together resources and expertise from both agencies as we work to ensure both orderly resource development and protection of the human, marine and coastal environments.”
“The Coast Guard and BSEE share the goal of keeping our oceans clean and offshore workers safe,” said Rear Admiral Servidio. “This agreement solidifies the commitment of each regulatory agency to work across agency boundaries in order to develop a coordinated regulatory approach that promotes safety through the use of safety management systems.”
Under the current regulatory regime, both the U.S. Coast Guard and BSEE have shared responsibilities for the regulation of safety management systems on the OCS. This MOA ensures a comprehensive, joint approach to safety and environmental management. Together, BSEE and the Coast Guard will use this agreement to establish a process for the identification of offshore safety and environmental management requirements within the jurisdiction of both agencies and to spur the development of joint policies and guidance. The agreement also provides a mechanism to ensure that all future regulations, policies and guidance are enforced consistently by both agencies.
The MOA is implemented in accordance with an overarching Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between BSEE and the Coast Guard signed November 27, 2012. The MOU outlined the efforts of the two agencies to closely coordinate responsibilities for regulation and enforcement on the OCS and for the establishment of future focused agreements such as the one announced today. It was the first MOU between the two agencies since BSEE became a bureau in 2011.
Press Release, May 10, 2013; Image: BSEE