As a result of the Deepwater Horizon incident in April 2010, the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement ("BSEE" or "the Agency"), an agency within the Department of Interior, adopted and revised through rulemaking the Safety and Environmental Management System standard ("SEMS"), 30 C.F.R. Part 250.1900. The SEMS standard requires oil, gas, and sulphur operators in the Outer Continental Shelf ("OSC") to develop and implement a safety and environmental management program that currently addresses seventeen requirements. The SEMS standard is similar in nature to the Process Safety Management ("PSM") standard, 29 C.F.R. § 1910.119, adopted by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") for onshore covered processes of hazardous chemicals.

The SEMS standard is designed to require offshore operators to identify, address, and manage safety, environmental hazards, and impacts during the design, construction, startup, operation, inspection, and maintenance of all new and existing facilities. 30 C.F.R. § 250.1901. It was adopted because the Agency believed that a comprehensive safety and environmental program would prevent unsafe acts and conditions that could result in serious injury and death of workers, as well as reduce spills that have the potential to adversely affect the environment. See 75 FR 63610, 63611 (Oct. 15, 2010).

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