Coast Guard, new BSEE agency sign agreement on continental shelf enforcement

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:

(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Coast Guard and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) November 29 that outlines the efforts of the two agencies to closely coordinate responsibilities for regulation and enforcement on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The MOU cements a lasting Federal partnership that improves offshore safety and environmental protection. This is the first MOU between the two agencies since BSEE became a bureau. Previous agreements fell under prior MOU's signed by other Department of the Interior bureaus and the USCG.

"This MOU provides a great framework for the U.S. Coast Guard and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to protect the marine environment and enhance offshore worker safety," said Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger, Deputy Commandant for Coast Guard Operations.

"This MOU ensures a lasting and mutually beneficial partnership between BSEE and the Coast Guard, highlighting the benefits that can be created when federal agencies acknowledge a shared commitment and join forces to work toward a common goal,” said BSEE Director Jim Watson. “As offshore operations continue to move into deeper and more complex environments, it’s important for us to further develop a collaborative relationship with our partners at the Coast Guard to improve offshore safety and environmental protection.”

The agreement signed this week encourages both the Coast Guard and BSEE to jointly promote compliance with applicable regulations, utilize each other’s expertise and resources on research projects, collaborate during the drafting of regulations and policies, adopt similar codes and standards, and provide appropriate oversight and enforcement actions offshore. Under the terms of this MOU, the two agencies will develop mission specific Memoranda of Agreements that will clarify each agency's role and shared responsibilities for regulating various activities and OCS facilities and units.

By Professional Mariner Staff