Cook Inlet RCAC Applauds Consideration of Blowout Control Regulations
The Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council (Cook Inlet RCAC) congratulates the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) on its thorough review of the state’s drilling safety rules in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. Cook Inlet RCAC supports and applauds the new blowout control regulations being considered by AOGCC.
In written and verbal comments to AOGCC in March 2011, Cook Inlet RCAC promoted a change in the Contingency Plan review process: “…we feel very strongly that the blowout contingency plan should be included in the Contingency Plan review process so that it may be scrutinized by regulatory experts and by all named reviewing entities…” This was known to ensure continuity between agencies, and to promote the highest industry standards. Specifically, we endorsed:
- Require operators submit blowout contingency plans along with oil discharge prevention and contingency plans;
- Establish a process to transfer authority to technically review and approve blowout contingency plans to AOGCC;
- AOGCC normal review and approval of blowout contingency plan as part of oil spill discharge contingency plan review; and
- Establish standards for blowout prevention systems and emergency shut down systems.
As a named reviewing agency, we have formally recommended this connection between the review of blowout contingency plans and oil discharge prevention and contingency plans in our review of all C-Plans throughout 2011.
Cook Inlet RCAC welcomes the opportunity to work with industry, the regulatory agencies and stakeholder organizations in promoting environmentally safe marine transportation and oil facility operations in Cook Inlet.
Cook Inlet RCAC is the Federally-mandated citizens’ organization, formed under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90). Its Mission is to represent the citizens of Cook Inlet in promoting environmentally safe marine transportation and oil facility operations in Cook Inlet. We engage in environmental research and monitoring, oil spill prevention and contingency planning.
For more information about this announcement, or the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council and its programs, contact:
Jerry Rombach, Director of Public Outreach