BALTIMORE — The federal Bureau of Safety Sulfur Operations' (BSEE) plans to revise offshore drilling regulations is being challenged by a 10-state coalition of attorneys general.
The coalition, led by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, is opposing the BSEE's revision which affects the oil and gas sulfur operations on the outer continental shelf - Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control regulations or "Well Control Rule."
According to Frosh's office, the Well Control Rule, put in place two years ago after the 2012 Deepwater Horizon explosion, includes requirements, inspections, verification and reporting systems for offshore drilling equipment.
“Weakening safety regulations aimed at preventing another Deepwater Horizon disaster is dangerous and irresponsible,” Frosh said in a statement. “It is bad enough that the Trump administration proposes to allow oil drilling near the Chesapeake Bay and our beaches. Reducing safety standards at the same time risks lives and endangers the natural resources we have struggled to protect.”
The Well Control Rule was designed after four years of investigations, studies and stakeholder input. The coalition is questioning the BSEE's rollback of the rule, which still has not event reached compliance dates, according to the Attorney General's Office.