Photo: Dominion Energy/Illustration

US agencies define offshore renewable energy responsibilities

The US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) have agreed to a framework for coordination in regulating renewable energy activities on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) clarifies the bureaus’ roles and responsibilities and promotes the efficient use of resources to enhance the renewable energy production in the United States.

“For several years BSEE has closely partnered with BOEM to ensure responsible development of renewable energy resources on the OCS,” said BSEE Director Scott Angelle.

“This MOA clarifies BSEE’s role in developing the safety and environmental compliance functions of the program that are critical to BOEM’s management of the program’s planning and development.”

The MOA follows a September 2020 Memorandum of Understanding between BSEE and BOEM that describes the general relationship between the bureaus and is one step closer to initiating the rulemaking process that would officially transfer relevant safety and environmental compliance regulations from BOEM to BSEE.

“Since 2009, BOEM has overseen the significant growth of renewable energy in the United States thanks to our strong partnerships with BSEE and other federal agencies, as well as state and local leadership,” said BOEM Acting Director Dr. Walter Cruickshank.

“We appreciate the critical information provided by our key stakeholders, such as commercial fishers, to inform our decision-making processes, and we look forward to continuing these relationships as we work with BSEE to ensure the renewable energy industry incorporates safety and environmental compliance measures throughout the installation and operation of offshore facilities.”

BSEE and BOEM will continue to collaborate on revisions to regulatory processes that ensure safety and environmental compliance as America expands renewable energy production on the OCS, the bureaus said.