The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement’s director says the inflation-based increase in fines for companies that run afoul of drilling regs is still too low to deter violators.
BOEMRE announced Thursday that the maximum civil penalty rate for Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act violations will increase from $35,000 to $40,000 per day; and from $25,000 to $30,000 per day for Oil Pollution Act financial responsibility violations. The increases coincide with adjustments in inflation, but the Obama administration is asking Congress to pass legislation to further raise the maximum civil penalty rates.
“Even with the inflation adjustment, which is the limit of our current regulatory authority, our civil fine authority is inadequate,” BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich said in announcing the increase. “That view is shared by energy companies operating on the OCS. The inadequacy of our civil authority hampers our ability to effectively regulate offshore activities, and renders such fines a trivial nuisance rather than an effective deterrent.”
Regulation increased substantially in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and Bromwich says new legislation is needed to “significantly” raise penalties on companies — some of which are spending $1 million a day on the development of deepwater leases.
Bromwich says a major bump in fines "would enable us to use the threat and reality of civil fines as viable methods to encourage compliance with offshore oil and gas rules and regulations and meaningfully deter violations.”
BOEMRE can impose civil penalties when an operator fails to correct a recorded violation or commits a violation that constitutes a threat of serious, irreparable, or immediate harm or damage to life, property, any mineral deposit, or the marine, coastal or human environment. BOEMRE also imposes fines if there is evidence operators do not have adequate financial responsibility to meet maximum liability amounts contained in OPA. Fines are assessed on a maximum per day rate, but can be compounded if there are multiple infractions.
The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act directs the secretary of the interior to adjust the maximum civil penalty amount at least once every three years to reflect any increase in the Consumer Price Index prepared by the U.S. Department of Labor. BOEMRE is also authorized to impose civil penalties for failure to comply with financial responsibility regulations that implement OPA; those amounts are reviewed and adjusted on a four-year cycle.
“Byzantine” is the word members of the nominating committee for the local flood protection authority often use to describe the complicated, multi-layered matrix of qualifications that must be met to fill a vacancy on that board.
In the Pelican State, Benjamin Franklin buys you about $109 worth of stuff.
Brittan Bush joins Liskow & Lewis, Blake David installed as the Third District Member of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s board of governors, and Simien & Miniex announces 2014 scholarship winners.
“In some cases, we’ve found that these parts are nothing more than used junk yard parts. In others, we’ve found them to be foreign knock-off parts of questionable quality.”
The old Daily Advertiser building on Jefferson Street is being rehabbed as the owner prepares to move it back into commerce.
Its fourth leader gone after two years on the job, the facility struggles to balance the tension between its two missions.
Hub City Cycles hits the ground running through small-business center opportunity.
The future of the coastal loss lawsuit could rest in hands of board’s nominating committee.
Leaders from the local tech community ponder the question: What's missing from Acadiana's tech ecosystem?
AT&T’s U-verse heads our way. Here’s what it means for you.
LITE’s virtual environments are changing the way local employees learn how to do their jobs.
Local tech gurus will go the distance to call Lafayette home.
A look at recent hires, promotions and other news from Acadiana's business community.
New Johnston Street eatery catapults to No. 1 spot in nearly 200-location chain.
By identifying companies that match the output of its post-secondary educational institutions, Lafayette is creating opportunities that keep highly trained graduates in the area.
Gideon’s Promise lauds G. Paul Marx’s work to improve the quality of indigent defense and helps train five new public defenders.
What will INNOV8 4.0 look like?
Courtesy Ford is honored; EatLafayette fêtes itself
AG says 50-year-old Terry Francis Savoy sold fraudulent Workers Compensation and Employers Liability insurance policies throughout the state.
The state's jobless rate rose to 5.4 percent in July from 5 percent in June. Louisiana's unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in July 2013.
Oil Center eatery plans drive-thru location on Ambassador Caffery
Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell drilling rights in shale formations in Louisiana and Wyoming for $2.1 billion in two transactions.
Local skate shop collaborates with sneaker giant to create the "Crawfish Dunks"
Lafayette-based drilling fluids/frac sand distributor enhances service lines with purchase of Erath company.
A national banking publication has named local banker Kevin Latiolais one of its Top Lenders for 2014.