[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 175 (Tuesday, September 10, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 55230-55234]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-21938]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

33 CFR Parts 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, and 147

[Docket No. USCG-2012-0779]
RIN 1625-AC05


Safety and Environmental Management System Requirements for 
Vessels on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard intends to promulgate regulations that will 
require vessels engaged in OCS activities (defined in 33 CFR Chapter I, 
Subchapter N) to develop, implement, and maintain a vessel-specific 
Safety and Environmental Management System (SEMS) that incorporates the 
management program and principles of the American Petroleum Institute's 
Recommended Practice for Development of a Safety and Environmental 
Management Program for Offshore Operations and Facilities, Third 
Edition, May 2004 (API RP 75). The Coast Guard intends for this SEMS to 
be developed and implemented by the vessel's owner or operator and 
compatible with a designated lease operator's SEMS required under 
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) regulations. The 
Coast Guard seeks comments on whether a SEMS that incorporates the 
management program and principles of API RP 75 is appropriate for 
vessels engaged in OCS activities, would reduce risk and casualties, 
and improve safety on the OCS. Comments should address the feasibility 
of implementing a SEMS that incorporates API RP 75, the compatibility 
with BSEE SEMS regulations, potential methods of oversight, safety 
issues, costs and regulatory burdens, and other issues of concern to 
the regulated community and general public. The Coast Guard would use 
such comments to assist in developing these new regulations.

DATES: Comments and related material must either be submitted to our 
online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before December 9, 
2013 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2012-0779 using any one of the following methods:
    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.
    (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    (4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone 
number is 202-366-9329.
    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. 
See the ``Public Participation and Request for Comments'' portion of 
the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on 
submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this advance 
notice of proposed rulemaking, call or email LCDR Marc J. Montemerlo, 
U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 202-372-1387, email 
Marc.J.Montemerlo@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or 
submitting material to the docket, call Barbara Hairston, Program 
Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents for Preamble

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments
    A. Submitting Comments
    B. Viewing Comments and Documents

[[Page 55231]]

    C. Privacy Act
    D. Public Meeting
II. Abbreviations
III. Background
    A. General
    B. Relationship to BSEE Regulations
IV. Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Discussion
V. Information Requested

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to respond to this advance notice of proposed 
rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials. All comments 
received will be posted, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov 
and will include any personal information you have provided.

A. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
rulemaking (USCG-2012-0779), indicate the specific question number 
under Section V. of this document to which each comment applies, and 
provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit 
your comments and material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, 
but please use only one of these means. We recommend that you include 
your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in 
the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have 
questions regarding your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, 
insert ``USCG-2012-0779'' in the ``Search'' box, and click ``Search.'' 
Filter the search results by placing a check in the box next to 
``notice'' under the ``Document Type'' filter on the left side of the 
page. A link to this notice will appear in the results list. Click the 
``Comment Now'' box next to the entry for this notice to submit your 
comment online. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, 
submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 inches, 
suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit them by mail 
and would like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a 
stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all 
comments and material received during the comment period.

B. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble 
as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, 
insert ``USCG-2012-0779'' in the ``Search'' box, and click ``Search.'' 
You can filter the results by document type using the filter options on 
the left side of the page. If you do not have access to the Internet, 
you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management 
Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of 
Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, 
DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays. We have an agreement with the Department of 
Transportation to use the Docket Management Facility.

C. Privacy Act

    Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any 
of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or 
signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, 
business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice 
regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the 
Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

D. Public Meeting

    We do not now plan to hold a public meeting, but you may submit a 
request for one to the docket using one of the methods specified under 
ADDRESSES. In your request, explain why you believe a public meeting 
would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid this 
rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later 
notice in the Federal Register.

II. Abbreviations

API RP 75 American Petroleum Institute's Recommended Practice for 
Development of a Safety and Environmental Management Program for 
Offshore Operations and Facilities, Third Edition, May 2004
BOEM Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
BSEE Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
DHS Department of Homeland Security
FOI Floating Offshore Installation
FPSO Floating Production and Storage Offload Units
FR Federal Register
ISM Code International Safety Management Code
MODU Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit
OCS Outer Continental Shelf
OCSLA Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
OSV Offshore Supply Vessel
SEMS Safety and Environmental Management System
SMS Safety Management System
SOLAS International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974, 
as amended
USCG United States Coast Guard

III. Background

A. General

    Under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331-1356a) 
(OCSLA), the Coast Guard is responsible for developing and implementing 
regulations to protect the safety of life, property, and the 
environment on Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) installations, vessels, 
and units engaged in OCS activities,\1\ including the regulation of 
workplace safety and health.\2\ The Coast Guard's regulatory authority 
extends to matters relating to safety of life and property on OCS units 
attached to the seabed for the purpose of engaging in OCS activities, 
as well as units on the waters adjacent thereto (i.e., units, whether 
attached or unattached), that are engaged in OCS activities in support 
of attached units.\3\
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    \1\ An OCS activity is any offshore activity associated with the 
exploration for, or development or production of, the minerals of 
the Outer Continental Shelf (33 CFR 140.10).
    \2\ 43 U.S.C. 1347(c).
    \3\ 43 U.S.C. 1333(d)(1).
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    The exploration, development, and production of oil and gas on the 
OCS require the careful coordination of multiple phases of complex 
activities. These activities are typically accomplished by a network of 
technical experts and specialists working for different companies, 
using a variety of technologies and procedures on vessels and 
facilities that are often operating simultaneously in close proximity 
to one another. For example, a floating offshore installation (FOI) 
producing oil and gas, a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) drilling 
a well, and other service vessels providing well stimulation and 
logistical support might work in close proximity to one another, and 
can create significant risk to personnel, the environment, property, 
and infrastructure. As illustrated by the Deepwater Horizon incident on 
April 20, 2010, the consequences of accidents and mishaps, though 
infrequent, can be severe. The Coast Guard believes that vessels 
engaged in OCS activities (whether attached to the seabed or in the 
waters adjacent thereto) should be required to develop, implement and 
maintain a vessel-specific SEMS program that proactively manages the 
risks inherent in OCS activities. This approach should be overseen by 
the Coast Guard and be compatible with the designated lease operator's 
SEMS program that BSEE requires.
    In 1991, the Coast Guard, along with the Minerals Management 
Service (MMS, now BSEE) promoted the concept of a management system 
called a Safety Environmental Management Program. This concept was 
further developed by API, which, with assistance from the Coast Guard 
and MMS, published API RP 75 in 1993. API RP 75 provides an example of 
a

[[Page 55232]]

systematic and proactive management approach that will assist vessel 
owners and operators to safely plan, design, manage, and conduct 
offshore oil, gas and sulphur operations. However, only a limited 
subset of vessels that engage in OCS activities in support of offshore 
oil, gas and sulphur operations are required to implement a SEMS based 
on this standard, as illustrated in Table 1 of Part B of this section. 
Some of these vessels implement a SMS based on the ISM Code, but this 
Code assumes a vessel's mission is international transportation of 
cargo, not OCS activities. API RP 75 is a more appropriate standard and 
the Coast Guard intends to promulgate regulations that would expand the 
number of vessels required to have a vessel-specific SEMS based on API 
RP 75.
    Implementing a vessel-specific SEMS that incorporates the 
management program and principles of API RP 75 would start with an 
assessment of operating and design requirements as well as a hazards 
analysis. Under regulations contemplated by this ANPRM, the SEMS would 
establish vessel-specific safe operating procedures, work practices, 
management-of-change procedures, and associated training. The SEMS 
would also incorporate procedures to ensure that the design, 
fabrication, installation, testing, inspection, monitoring, and 
maintenance of equipment comply with all applicable safety regulations 
(e.g., 33 CFR Subchapter N). Additionally, the SEMS would be subject to 
periodic safety audits, and would include procedures for emergency 
response and vessel owner/operator internal incident investigations to 
help mitigate risk and prevent future mistakes.
    The Coast Guard estimates that approximately 2,200 foreign and 
domestic vessels engaged in OCS activities could be affected by this 
regulatory action, including: 1,800 Offshore Supply Vessels (OSVs), 150 
liftboats, 125 MODUs, and 125 other vessels. The Coast Guard requests 
comments from the public regarding the accuracy of these population 
estimates.

B. Relationship to BSEE Regulations

    BSEE works to promote safety, protect the environment, and conserve 
resources offshore through vigorous regulatory oversight and 
enforcement. Existing BSEE regulations in 30 CFR part 250, subpart S 
(30 CFR 250.1900 et seq.) require designated lease operators to 
develop, implement, and maintain a SEMS program based on API RP 75. 
These regulations also require designated lease operators to ensure 
that contractors have their own written safe work practices. While the 
designated lease operator's SEMS program required by BSEE includes 
elements of API RP 75, this program is focused on overall lease 
activities and the offshore oil, gas and sulphur operations of 
facilities on the lease. When a facility is also a vessel, the 
designated lease operator's SEMS is not focused on the unique nature of 
the facility/vessel and its marine support mission.
    The majority of vessels engaged in OCS activities, including but 
not limited to, MODUs, well stimulation vessels, accommodation vessels, 
OSVs, and floating production and storage offload units (FPSOs) are 
contracted by designated lease operators. These vessels conduct a 
variety of tasks, such as seismic activities, exploration and 
completion drilling, production, well servicing, well stimulation, 
installation and construction, dive support, and supply and logistical 
services for one or multiple designated lease operators. Although 
BSEE's SEMS regulations hold the designated lease operators accountable 
for the overall safety of operations conducted on the OCS lease, the 
Coast Guard believes that vessel owners and operators should be 
responsible for developing a vessel-specific SEMS because the owners 
and operators manage vessel-based personnel, operations, maintenance, 
equipment, emergency responses, and alterations. This regulatory action 
would place such requirements on vessel owners and operators and seek 
to align Coast Guard regulations with current BSEE SEMS, both of which 
would incorporate the management program and principles of API RP 75.
    Table 1 shows the current state of safety management system 
regulations on the OCS as it pertains to vessels:

                                                     Table 1
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----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               BSEE
                               USCG                   OSHA..............
             ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Falls within the    Does not fall       Meets the           Does not meet the
               scope of 30 CFR     within the scope    applicability of    applicability of
               250.1900-.1901      of 30 CFR           33 CFR 96.110,      33 CFR 96.110,
               and meets the       250.1900-.1901      96.210 (i.e. self-  96.210.
               definition of       and does not meet   propelled over
               ``facility'' in     the definition of   500 gross tons,
               30 CFR 250.105.     ``facility'' in     engages on
                                   30 CFR 250.105.     international
                                                       voyages).
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Mobile
 Offshore
Drilling
 Unit
-------------
Well          Designated lease    No SEMS directlly   Vessel owner/       No SMS required     No SEMS or SMS
 Stimulation   operator must       required but may    operator must
Vessel         have a SEMS based   or may not be       have vessel-
               on API RP 75.       subject to a        Specific SMS
                                   designated lease    based on ISM Code.
                                   operator's SEMS.
-------------
Floating
 Production
 Storage
 Offloading
 Unit
-----------------------------------------------------
Shuttle
 Tanker
-------------
Offshore       No SEMS directly required but may or
 Supply          may not be subject to a designated
Vessel                 lease operator's SEMS
-------------
Accommodatio
 n
Vessel
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[[Page 55233]]

IV. Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Discussion

    The Coast Guard intends to promulgate regulations that will require 
all domestic and foreign-flagged vessels engaged in OCS activities to 
develop, implement, and maintain a SEMS that incorporates the 
management program and principles of API RP 75. As discussed in Section 
III, the Coast Guard would require a vessel-specific SEMS because 
vessel owners and operators manage vessel-specific risks. This 
requirement would apply to MODUs, well stimulation vessels, FPSOs, 
shuttle tankers, OSVs accommodation vessels, and other vessels engaged 
in OCS activities. One goal of a Coast Guard-required SEMS is to 
complement existing prescriptive vessel design, equipment, and 
operation safety standards and regulations. A Coast Guard-required SEMS 
would also help to prevent accidents, injuries, and environmental 
damage by reducing the probability and severity of uncontrolled 
releases and other undesirable events. By incorporating the management 
program and principles of API RP 75 as the basis for the Coast Guard's 
SEMS requirements for vessels, this regulatory action would leverage 
industry safety expertise and harmonize with BSEE's regulations for 
designated lease operators.
    The Coast Guard recognizes that there are vessels currently 
operating on the OCS that comply with the Safety Management System 
(SMS) standards of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code 
(International Maritime Organization Resolution A.741(18)), and we 
believe that any new SEMS requirements for vessels based on API RP 75 
should take this into account. In 1997, the Coast Guard promulgated SMS 
regulations (33 CFR part 96) for responsible persons and their vessels 
engaged on international and domestic voyages. The purpose of these 
regulations was to establish a national SMS standard that was 
consistent with Chapter IX of the International Convention for the 
Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) 1974, as amended, which requires that all 
vessels subject to SOLAS have an effective SMS to meet the performance 
elements of the ISM Code. The Coast Guard regulations followed the ISM 
Code by setting broad performance standards designed to be flexible and 
applicable to a wide variety of activities and vessel-types, including 
large cruise ships, container ships, and MODUs. Certain vessels that 
engage in OCS activities, including self-propelled MODUs, drillships, 
heavy lift vessels, and OSVs that engage in international voyages are 
currently required to comply with the ISM Code. The Coast Guard 
estimates that there are approximately 185 total vessels subject to the 
ISM Code currently engaged in OCS activities.
    The Coast Guard believes that many elements of API RP 75 and the 
ISM Code are similar. In crafting regulatory requirements, the Coast 
Guard would consider whether ISM Code compliance should be an 
alternative means of satisfying elements of API RP 75. The Coast Guard 
is also aware that some vessels may be voluntarily implementing a 
safety management system based on frameworks other than API RP 75 or 
the ISM Code. These may include the International Association of 
Drilling Contractors Health Safety and Environmental Case (IADC HSE 
Case) or the International Standards Organization 9001 (ISO 9001:2008). 
The Coast Guard is currently researching whether compliance with these 
management programs would be appropriate alternatives to API RP 75.

V. Information Requested

    1. Should the Coast Guard require a SEMS based on API RP 75 for 
vessels engaged in OCS activities?
    2. Should the Coast Guard require that each SEMS be subject to a 
certification process? If so, who should certify the SEMS programs, and 
what should the certification process entail?
    3. How can the Coast Guard ensure that its SEMS requirements are 
consistent with BSEE's SEMS requirements?
    4. Should Coast Guard-required SEMS programs be subject to 
independent third-party audits? If so, how frequently should audits 
take place (e.g., ISM audits annually)? To what types of 
qualifications, certifications, and authorizing processes should 
independent third-party auditors be subject?
    5. What are the differences and similarities between API RP 75 and 
the ISM Code? What would be required to bring ISM-compliant vessels 
into compliance with API RP 75? Please provide cost estimates if 
available.
    6. Should the Coast Guard consider IADC HSE Case, ISO 9001:2008, or 
any other performance-based safety management alternatives or 
equivalencies to the proposed SEMS requirements outlined in this ANPRM? 
If so, what alternatives or equivalencies should the Coast Guard 
consider? Please provide specific details, if possible.
    7. For vessel owners and operators, how many of your vessels have 
an active Safety Management Certificate issued under the ISM Code or 
employ another type of safety management system? Do any components of 
API RP 75 conflict with the ISM Code or vice versa? If employing a non-
ISM Code SMS, please provide information on the management system.
    8. For vessel owners and operators, is there a safety officer or 
similar position(s) dedicated to the management of safety onboard your 
vessels?
    9. For vessel owners and operators, if you have an active Safety 
Management Certificate issued under the ISM Code or employ another type 
of safety management system, what costs have you incurred in 
implementing the safety management system? Please provide the cost for 
your company and per vessel if possible, including the following:
    a. Costs for an assessment of operating and design requirements.
    b. Costs for a hazards analysis.
    c. Costs to establish safe operating procedures, work practices, 
and management-of-change procedures.
    d. Costs for training on the SMS.
    e. Costs for procedures to ensure that the design, fabrication, 
installation, testing, inspection, monitoring, and maintenance of 
equipment meet safety standards.
    f. Costs for periodic safety audits, including procedures for 
emergency response and incident investigation.
    10. For vessel owners and operators, if you have an active Safety 
Management Certificate issued under the ISM Code or employ another type 
of safety management system, have you seen improvements in safety and 
operation from implementing the SMS? If so, please specify and provide 
any supporting data if available.
    11. For vessel owners and operators, if you have an active Safety 
Management Certificate issued under the ISM Code or employ another type 
of safety management system do you have any information or data, 
qualitative or quantitative, for any cost savings from operating with a 
safety management system? For vessel owners and operators that 
voluntarily implement an API RP 75-compliant SEMS, are there any cost 
savings of complying with API RP 75? Please provide cost savings 
information based on type and size of your operations, if possible.
    12. For vessel owners and operators, if you do not have an active 
safety management system, what costs would you expect to incur per 
vessel for implementing a Coast Guard-required SEMS based on API RP 75?
    13. For vessel owners or operators, what are the reasons not to use 
a SEMS? What type of operations may not benefit from a SEMS? Are there 
any operations (such as small or limited operations)

[[Page 55234]]

that may not necessitate a SEMS and why? Besides costs, what is the 
downside of using a SEMS?
    14. Are there any data, literature, or studies that show that 
implementation of a SEMS leads to a reduction in oil spills, property 
damage, injury or deaths, or other casualties?
    15. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) held a 
public meeting on September 20-21, 2012, on the use of performance-
based regulatory models in the U.S. oil and gas industry, offshore and 
onshore (see 77 FR 50172). If you submitted comments during that public 
meeting or to the docket [OSHA-2012-0033] and want them considered in 
this rulemaking, please resubmit those comments to this docket [USCG-
2012-0779].
    16. Please provide any additional information or comments on the 
proposals in this ANPRM.

    Dated: August 16, 2013.
Robert J. Papp, Jr.,
Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant.
[FR Doc. 2013-21938 Filed 9-9-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P