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16Maritime Reporter & Engineering News The Bureau of Safety and Envi- ronmental Enforcement(?BSEE?) issued three signifi- cant documents addressing re-sponse, enforcement, and safety issuesrelated to offshore operations in August 2012. Specifically, BSEE issued (1) new guidance concerning regional Oil Spill Response Plans (?OSRPs?), (2) formal- ized policy addressing direct enforcement actions against contractors engaged in offshore activities, and (3) a Final Rule implementing new safety measures re- lated to well control operations occurringon the outer continental shelf (?OCS?).The following is a summary of these new developments. Background BSEE?s recent actions stem from les- sons learned from the Deepwater Hori- zon incident, an explosion and fire that killed 11 workers and injured many more in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010. Following the Deepwater Horizon inci- dent, the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforce- ment (?BOEMRE?) published an InterimFinal Rule (?IFR?) titled ?IncreasedSafety Measures for Energy Develop- ment on the Outer Continental Shelf? onOctober 14, 2010. The IFR was based on a May 27, 2010 report of the same titlefrom the Secretary of the Interior, who had been instructed by the President toprepare the report as a result of the Deep-water Horizon incident. The Secretary of the Interior then directed BOEMRE toadopt and implement the recommenda-tions contained in the report as soon aspossible. BOEMRE was subsequently replaced by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (?BOEM?) and BSEE.Also, after the Deepwater Horizon inci- dent, BSEE issued Incidents of Non-Compliance (?INCs?) to two contractors involved, Transocean and Halliburton, for violations found to have contributed to loss of control of the well and has con-sistently made statements that it intendsto pursue penalties directly against con- tractors in appropriate circumstances. Inaddition, BSEE has continued to review its response plan policies following les- sons learned from the Deepwater Hori- zon incident. New Guidance on Regional Oil Spill Response Plans BSEE published Notice to Lessees(?NTL?) No. 2012-N-06 titled ?Guid-ance to Owners and Operators of Off- shore Facilities Seaward of the Coast Line Concerning Regional OSRPs? on August 10, 2012. The NTL is intended to provide clarification, guidance, and in- formation concerning the preparation andsubmittal of a regional OSRP for owners and operators of oil handling, storage, ortransportation facilities, including pipelines, located seaward of the coast line. The NTL states that the clarifica- tions and recomended practices describedin the NTL are based on knowledge gained from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response. The goal of the NTL is to ensure national consistency of OSRP preparation. In addition, the NTL is de-signed to encourage the development of flexible and innovative offshore oil spill response techniques, particularly for acontinuous high-rate spill. The NTL explains that OSRPs required by 30 C.F.R. Part 254 will be evaluated by BSEE?s Oil Spill Response Division (?OSRD?). OSRD will determinewhether the planned response is adequatefor a worse case discharge by consider- ing the following factors: location of the potential worst case discharge; proximity to sensitive resources; nature of the event; estimated discharge volume; oil charac- teristics; appropriate source control con-tainment methods; weathering; and otherresources at risk. The NTL also provides specific submission instructions, as well as a detailed instructions and suggestionsfor the preparation of OSRPs. The in- structions provide BSEE?s preferred for- mat and content and include references tothe applicable regulations. Lastly, the NTL indicates that adherence to these en-couraged practices will facilitate BSEE?s review of an OSRP, but is not required to obtain approval. The following is a link to the NTL: loadedFiles/BSEE/Regulations_and_Guidance/Notices_to_Lessees/2012/NTL2012-N06.pdf BSEE Enforcement Action Against ContractorsBSEE published Interim Policy Docu- ment (?IPD?) No. 12-07 titled ?Incidentsof Non-Compliance (INC) to Contrac-tors? on August 15, 2012. IPD 12-07 for- mally sets forth BSEE?s intention to issue INCs to contractors for serious violationsof BSEE regulations. Any individual or entity performing an activity under an OCS lease must comply with regulations related to such activity. BSEE stated that enforcement actions will continue tofocus primarily on lessees and operators.However, in appropriate circumstances, INCs will be issued directly to contrac-tors. BSEE set forth four general factors to be considered in determining whether toissue an INC to a contractor: (1) the typeof violation; (2) the harm or threat ofharm resulting from the violation; (3) theforeseeability of the harm or threat ofharm; and (4) the extent of the contrac- tor?s involvement in the violation. BSEE further stated that any time an INC is is- sued to a contractor, an INC will also be issued to the lessee or operator. The fol- lowing is a link to IPD 12-07. suance%20of%20an%20Inci-dent%20of%20Non%20Compliance%20to%20Contractors.pdf Final Rule on Well-Control BSEE published its Final Rule titled?Increased Safety Measures for Energy Development on the OCS? on August 22, 2012. The Final Rule becomes effective on October 22, 2012. In short, it amendsdrilling, well completion, well workover, and decommissioning regulations related to well control. Although many of the provisions of the IFR were not changed in the Final Rule, some portions weremodified in response to comments re- ceived and the recommendations of the Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigation Team final report. The Final Rule:Establishes new casing installation and cementing requirements;Requires independent third-party ver- ification of blind-shear ram capacity and subsea BOP stack compatibility;Requires new casing and cementing integrity tests; Establishes new requirements and LEGAL BEAT Offshore Drilling BSEE Issues New Requirements and Policies Addressing Offshore Activities Top Jonathan K. Waldron, partner at Blank Rome, concentrateshis practice in maritime, inter-national, and environmental law, including maritime secu- rity. MiddleJeanne Grasso, partner at Blank Rome, focuses her prac-tice on maritime, international,and environmental law for clients worldwide. Grasso@BlankRome.com202.772.5956BottomDana Merkel, associate atBlank Rome, focuses her prac-tice on providing legal advice to companies involved in themaritime industry. DMerkel@BlankRome.comMR#9 (10-17):MR Template 9/11/2012 1:26 PM Page 16

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