The following is a news release from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE):
(NEW ORLEANS) — Ensuring oil and gas companies protect the environment during operations is at the heart of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s mission. To help, BSEE just released an updated training video that encourages safe and responsible trash and debris removal.
The video is part of BSEE’s Marine Trash and Debris Program, which emphasizes education and regulation to minimize pollution and environmental damage on the Outer Continental Shelf. The program encourages the use of best practices, including improving the process for sending marine trash to shore, safely securing trash and debris on offshore facilities and training offshore personnel in the safe disposal of trash. BSEE’s requirements for the Marine Trash and Debris program can be found in Notice to Lessees 2015-G03.
Marine debris has become an increasing problem in recent decades. Many products designed for short-term use and most packaging designed for one-time use (e.g., bottled water) have littered beaches and waterways around the world. Plastic packaging contributes greatly to the debris problem. While plastics may constitute only about 13 percent of our wastes (EPA, 2014), their long durability results in massive accumulation. Plastics typically compose about 75 percent of debris on beaches. They decay very slowly and build up in our environment. Estimates of plastic debris finding its way into our oceans range from about 5 to 13 million tons each year just from the coastal zone. In the United States, about 80 percent of marine debris washes into the oceans from land-based sources and 20 percent is from ocean sources. Ocean sources include shipping, fishing, cruise lines, military, and industry. The oil and gas industry is only one part of those sources.
Click here to view a video on eliminating marine debris on the Outer Continental Shelf.