In This Issue

Outer Continental Shelf-Incident Reporting Requirements

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) has proposed a rule to revise and clarify MMS requirements for reporting incidents associated with Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas and other mineral operations. MMS has developed these reporting requirements in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and intends them to be as consistent as possible with USCG requirements for incidents where the two agencies have mutual interest and responsibilities. MMS is also working with the USCG to develop a single point electronic reporting system that would allow incident reports submitted through this single point to be sent to both agencies. This will help minimize duplicative reporting required by the two agencies.

This proposed rule revises and clarifies MMS requirements for reporting incidents associated with OCS oil and gas and other mineral operations:

  1. Several definitions are added, including the term “incident” which replaces the term “accident” currently used in the regulations; Note that this includes incidents that occur associated with an easement (such as a pipeline easement), as defined below:

    § 250.187(a) Incidents that:
    1. Occur on the area covered by your lease, easement, right-of-way, or other permit; and
    2. Are related to operations resulting from the exercise of your rights under your lease, easement, right-of-way, or permit. This includes incidents involving vessels engaged in OCS activities as defined in § 250.105

  2. More specific incident reporting thresholds for various incident types are established;
  3. Written reports are required and must be submitted electronically; and
  4. Two new MMS forms are proposed so that consistent information will be reported to MMS for all incidents.

During the comment period for this rule, MMS will hold a workshop to discuss the rule and the development of an electronic reporting system. MMS and USCG encourage your comments on any aspect of this proposed rule and your participation in the workshop. Comments must be received by October 6, 2003. If you wish to comment, mail or hand-carry comments (three copies) to the Department of the Interior; Minerals Management Service; Mail Stop 4024; 381 Elden Street; Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817; Attention: Rules Processing Team (Comments). If you wish to respond by e-mail, the e-mail address is: Use the term “Incident Reporting” in your e-mail subject line. Include your name and address in your e-mail message and mark your message for return receipt. You may submit comments with respect to the information collection burden of the proposed rule either by fax (202) 395-5806 or email ( directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget; Attention: Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior (OMB control number 1010-0XXX).

The complete rule proposal can be downloaded from RCP’s website here through the DOT Gateway. For further information, contact Melinda Mayes at 703-787-1063 or Staci Atkins at 703-787-1620, Engineering and Operations Division.