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BSEE and Louisiana Collaborate to Improve Oil Spill Prevention and Response

BSEE and Louisiana Collaborate to Improve Oil Spill Prevention and Response

WASHINGTON – To better protect Louisiana’s coast from oil spills, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office (LOSCO) recently signed an agreement that strengthens coordination on oil spill planning, preparedness, and response offshore Louisiana. The agreement updates and replaces a memorandum of understanding between the agencies from 1994.

“BSEE's new agreement with Louisiana improves our ability to collaborate between our agencies and ensures offshore lessees and operators are prepared to handle any discharge from their facilities," said BSEE Preparedness Verification Branch Chief Bryan Rogers. “Using this approach will improve consistency in monitoring spill preparedness safeguards for offshore facilities where oil, or oil-production-related fluids, are stored, processed, or transported.”

“LOSCO remains committed to a strong working relationship with BSEE,” said Karolien Debusschere, LOSCO Deputy Oil Spill Coordinator. “Close collaboration with our federal partners, including BSEE, is essential for increasing efficiency and efficacy in planning for, and responding to, oil spills in Louisiana.”

The MOU calls for BSEE and LOSCO to cooperate in carrying out their respective regulatory responsibilities, and to identify opportunities for innovative and effective implementation of oil spill planning, preparedness, and response monitoring. Each agency must exercise its own rulemaking responsibilities independently and in accordance with applicable laws and procedures, but the two may coordinate to the extent possible on rulemaking initiatives. In conducting drills, the parties will follow the objectives of the National Preparedness and Response Exercise Program.

To promote oil spill response planning and preparedness, maximize oil spill response efficiency, and promote protection of human health and the environment, the agencies agree to:

  • Foster communication and cooperation.
  • Promote compliance with applicable regulations.
  • Optimize use of expertise and resources, collaborating when possible, on research projects, and making personnel available when feasible to support mutual work objectives, workshops, conferences, seminars, training opportunities, work teams, exercises, inspections, and enforcement.
  • Coordinate efforts with respect to oil spill planning, preparedness, and response.
  • Coordinate oversight and regulatory enforcement actions.

For additional details or to review the memorandum visit here.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is the lead federal agency charged with improving safety, ensuring environmental protection and promoting resource conservation related to offshore energy production on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.