This week, the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced a policy statement on regulating workplace safety and health conditions on renewable energy facilities on the outer continental shelf (OCS). The statement clarifies the role of DOI in regulating in this area. DOI will act as the principal Federal agency for regulation and enforcement of safety and health requirements for OCS renewable energy facilities pursuant to Title 43 United States Code Section 1337 and Title 35 Code of Federal Regulations Part 585. This authority applies to the facilities themselves only, noting, “OCS renewable energy facility support vessels...are under the authority of the United States Coast Guard (USCG).”
The statement goes on to specify, “DOI considers its regulatory program, described in part above, to occupy the field of workplace safety and health for personnel and others on OCS renewable energy facilities, and to preempt the applicability of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. See 29 U.S.C. 653(b)(1).” Though, the statement also indicates that DOI will collaborate and consult with OSHA and USCG as necessary. Representatives from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement at DOI as well as OSHA will be on the safety panel at AWEA’s Offshore WINDPOWER event in Boston Wednesday at 1:45 pm. For more information, contact Michele Mihelic.