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No deepwater drilling without environmental studies: U.S.

National Post

U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration announced on Monday it will grant no more permits for deep water oil exploration without requiring studies on their impact on the environment.

The Interior Department said it would award offshore drilling permits only to projects “involving limited environmental risk” while it undertakes a comprehensive review of its procedures under U.S. environmental protection laws.

The administration imposed a moratorium on most offshore drilling activities until November following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which released several million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico from a ruptured BP well.

The Bureau of Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) said it has directed its staff not to grant “categorical exclusions” for deepwater drilling activities even after the moratorium is lifted, the Interior Department said.

The exclusions, which were created to reduce bureaucratic red tape, allowed companies to undertake deepwater drilling projects without providing either environmental assessments or impact statements.

The department said it was examining what kinds of environmental reviews should be required for offshore activities, as well as the procedures that should be followed under the National Environmental Protection Act.

“The changes in our regulatory framework and approach will serve to hold offshore operators accountable and ensure that the industry and the country are fully prepared to deal with catastrophic blowouts and oil spills like the Deepwater Horizon,” BOEM director Michael Bromwich said.

Meanwhile, Thad Allen, the administration’s pointman for the oil spill response, announced the deployment of 19 teams to assess the economic impact of the BP oil spill.

The teams, which are in addition to two already sent to Louisiana, will go to Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas, he said.


The news content in this section is responsibility of the information agencies and does not necessarily reflect the position of the Government of Mexico on this or other related topics.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.


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