The US Department of the Interior Releases Policy Statement Granting Itself Primary Authority Over Worker Safety in the Offshore Wind Sector

In the October 18, 2019 Federal Register, the Department of the Interior (DOI) published a policy statement clarifying their role in regulating workplace safety and health conditions on renewable energy facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The purpose of this statement is to grant the DOI the primary authority over worker safety in the offshore wind sector. This policy statement is effective as of October 18, 2019.

DOI considers its regulatory program to occupy the field of workplace safety and health for personnel and others on OCS renewable energy facilities, and to preempt Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. The DOI did not explain in its policy statement how worker safety and health responsibilities would be divided between the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

This policy does not apply to workplace safety and health requirements for OCS marine hydrokinetic energy projects that are within the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), or OCS renewable energy facility support vessels that are under the authority of the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

Source:

DOI Policy Statement, Policy Statement on Regulating Workplace Safety and Health Conditions on Renewable Energy Facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf, (Oct. 18, 2019) https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/10/18/2019-22826/department-of-the-interior-policy-statement-on-regulating-workplace-safety-and-health-conditions-on