New DOI Drilling and Worker Safety Rules Praised by EDF

Former DOE Chief of Staff Lauds Quick Emergency Rule-Making Process

September 30, 2010
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NEWS RELEASE

Contact:
Sean Crowley, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.550.6524, scrowley@edf.org  

(Washington, DC–September 30, 2010) Environmental Defense Fund praised two new federal rules that will help improve drilling safety by strengthening requirements for safety equipment, well control systems, blowout prevention practices on offshore oil and gas operations, and improve workplace safety by reducing the risk of human error. The Drilling Safety Rule is being issued under an emergency rule-making process.

"By using the emergency rule-making process, the Interior Department has responded to the BP oil disaster in a responsible way to both minimize the chance of another drilling catastrophe and minimize job losses associated with bureaucratic delays in the reform process," said EDF's oil spill response coordinator Elgie Holstein, a former Chief of Staff at the Department of Energy who coauthored aBipartisan Policy Center report about the deepwater drilling moratorium for the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

The Workplace Safety Rule makes mandatory American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practice 75, which was previously a voluntary program to identify, address and manage safety hazards and environmental impacts in their operations.

"By making voluntary best industry practices mandatory, Secretary Salazar, Deputy Secretary Hayes and Bureau of Ocean Management Director Bromwich are meeting the public demand to make deepwater drilling demonstrably safer for workers with a minimum of economic impact," concluded Holstein.

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