Issue Date: April 30, 2012
Panels Issue Warnings On Offshore Drilling
On the second anniversary of the deadly April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon oil-rig explosion, two expert panels warned that more needs to be done to make offshore drilling safe. Members of the presidentially appointed national oil spill commission warned on April 17 that greater safety and environmental improvements are needed to avoid accidents similar to this one, which killed 11 people and resulted in the worst maritime oil spill in U.S. history. Five of the former commissioners singled out several areas for improvement, particularly efforts to protect Arctic waters where drilling is just getting under way. The commissioners cited Congress for failing to enact legislation to support government and industry reforms. Separately, the Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) announced on April 19 the preliminary results of its ongoing investigation, finding that offshore companies and regulators need better accident prevention programs, like those in other countries. CSB also urged that offshore operations incorporate process safety standards similar to those of onshore oil refineries and chemical plants. CSB will hold public hearings this summer, followed by an interim report and then a final report early in 2013.
- Chemical & Engineering News
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