Since joining the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) on March 28, Director Kevin M. Sligh Sr. has consulted with bureau employees across the U.S. and engaged with federal and state partners, offshore energy operators, and non-governmental stakeholders with an interest in the agency's mission and priorities, the Department of the Interior agency said.
Under Sligh, BSEE is expanding its mission to include overseeing offshore renewable energy production and carbon storage potential.
“It’s an honor to be a part of the BSEE team as we fulfill a critical role on behalf of all Americans by ensuring offshore energy operations are safe and environmentally sustainable,” said Sligh. “I’m particularly proud to lead BSEE at this critical juncture, as our role in federal offshore renewable energy projects grows. And after meeting with BSEE employees across the country, I’m confident that our team is fully prepared to meet these challenges.”
Sligh also considers these to be key priorities for BSEE:
- Building a regulatory framework to facilitate safe and environmentally sustainable offshore carbon sequestration.
- Continuing to improve safe and environmentally responsible offshore oil and gas energy development.
- Enhancing oil spill research through advance technologies, remote sensing tools, and integrating remote sensing data to support operational decision making.
- Decommissioning orphaned wells and pipelines and removing infrastructure from the seabed to decrease the risk of pollution, restore ecosystems, and create well-paying jobs for communities across the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific coasts.
- Reinforcing equity and diversity at BSEE through Interior’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility initiative, which calls for program reviews to identify gaps, challenges, and best practices.
In his first three months in office, Sligh has reportedly visited BSEE offices in Anchorage, Alaska; Camarillo, Calif.; Houston; New Orleans; and Sterling, Va., where he toured facilities, travelled offshore, addressed employees, and met one-on-one with BSEE staff. During remarks at these locations, Sligh discussed his vision and priorities for BSEE.
Sligh also met with federal partners from the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and with state and other partners in Alaska, California and Louisiana. They discussed shared roles and objectives such as improving offshore safety, environmental protection, and the regulation of our nation’s resources. Sligh also met and consulted with oil spill response consortiums and offshore well containment organizations.
During meetings with offshore operators, trade groups and environmental stakeholders, Sligh shared his vision for BSEE’s continued role in promoting safety, protecting the environment, and conserving offshore energy resources.