Fed Agencies Hold Stakeholder Meeting on Performance-Based Safety in Oil and Gas Industry
ASSE and its Oil and Gas Practice Specialty will be represented at this meeting by Government Affairs Committee members Gene Barfield, Ron Sokol and staff.
From OSHA –
August 21, 2012
OSHA along with other Federal agencies schedule meeting to discuss performance-based approaches to protect oil and gas industry workers
WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), along with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, United States Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration invite public participation in a September 20-21 meeting on the use and implementation of performance-based regulatory models for enhanced safety and environmental performance in the United States oil and gas industry.
Speakers at the September 20-21 meeting in Texas City, Texas will address the current regulatory landscape and discuss the challenges and benefits of non-prescriptive, outcome-based approaches to reduce the frequency and severity of harmful events.
Public attendees will have the opportunity to make comments at the meeting and all members of the public may submit comments in writing. Those interested in attending must register online by September 5. The meeting will also be Webcast live for online viewing. For more information, visit the registration website and read the Federal Register notice.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
The Drilling Safety Rule was initially issued under an emergency rule-making process to implement urgent safety measures immediately following the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. The Interim Drilling Safety Rule provided opportunities for public comment, and the Final Rule issued today includes refinements to the rule based on consideration of those comments.
“The oil and gas industry has been operating under these enhanced safety requirements for the past two years,” said Watson. “Today’s action builds on the lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon tragedy and is part of the Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to expand safe and responsible development of America’s domestic energy resources.”
The Drilling Safety Rule improves upon pre-Deepwater Horizon regulations by establishing new standards for casing and cementing, including integrity testing requirements; third-party certification and verification requirements; blowout preventer (BOP) capability, testing, and documentation obligations; and standards for specific well control training, to include deepwater operations.
Today’s Final Rule refines the Interim Final Rule by addressing requirements for compliance with documents incorporated by reference; enhancing the description and classification of well-control barriers; defining testing requirements for cement; clarifying requirements for the installation of dual mechanical barriers; and extending requirements for BOPs and well-control fluids to well-completions, workovers, and decommissioning operations.
The Final Drilling Safety Rule will be published in the Federal Register Reading Room in the near future and can be viewed at http://www.bsee.gov/uploadedFiles/BSEE/BSEE_Newsroom/Press_Releases/2012/AA02%20-%20Final%20Rule%208-10-12.pdf.