NSPE is pushing back against the Department of the Interior’s proposed rollback of essential regulations implemented in response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. The department finalized rules after a comprehensive multiphase rulemaking process in 2016. NSPE actively advocated for an enhanced role for professional engineers to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, and these provisions were included in the final 2016 rule. The department is now proposing to eliminate many of the provisions in the 2016 rule, including several specific requirements for professional engineers.
In a public comment to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, NSPE President Tom Roberts, P.E., F.NSPE, stated, “the recommended revisions would endanger rather than advance the level of safety and environmental protection…. PEs have specific experience, qualifications, and education that enables them to provide the critical engineering expertise to identify potential safety and environmental risks. The existing rules were implemented to ensure that PEs utilize their engineering skills to achieve compliance and incorporate the necessary safety measures that will mitigate the likelihood of future disasters like the Deepwater Horizon explosion.”
NSPE is urging the Department of the Interior to retain all of the requirements for PEs in its revised rulemaking.