Lax Federal Oversight Detailed At BP Blowout Hearing
The BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico is going to be a poster child for lax federal oversight — oversight that began during the Bush years but was perpetuated during the Obama Administration.
NOLA reports today (from a hearing by the Coast Guard and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, aka MMS):
The Deepwater Horizon appeared to be out of compliance with another federal regulation requiring independent inspection of a rig’s blowout preventer every three to five years.
Investigators have said they had no record of an inspection after the year 2000. Jason Mathews, a member of the Marine Board panel, said the rig was “way past” the inspection requirement in Section 250.446(a) of the code.
Moreover, the blowout preventer was leaking on 9 April 2010 — and that leak was reported to BP Houston, which did not report the leak to MMS, according to investigators. The fact that the blowout preventer was leaking meant that drilling should have stopped:
Federal Regulation 250.451(d) states that if someone drilling in federal waters encounters “a BOP control station or pod that does not function properly” the rig must “suspend further drilling operations until that station or pod is operable.”
Where are BP’s designated jailee(s)? And who is going to be charged with manslaughter for the deaths of the oil workers?