A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
BOEMRE Calls for Nominations for Offshore Energy Safety Advisory Committee
Office of the Secretary
Expert body to provide input on improving offshore drilling safety, well containment, and spill response
[Edited Feb 22, 2011, changing "Safety Committee" to "OSEC in the first paragraph.]
[Edited Feb 3, 2011, changing "13-member committee" to "15-member committee" in 2nd paragraph]
WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael R. Bromwich today announced that the agency is accepting nominations from federal agencies, industry, academia, national labs, and various research organizations for representatives to serve on the recently established Offshore Energy Safety Advisory Committee (OESC). The creation of the OESC was announced on January 19, 2011.
The 15-member committee will advise the BOEMRE Director and the Secretary of the Interior on a variety of issues related to offshore energy safety, including drilling and workplace safety, well intervention and containment and oil spill response. The Safety Committee is the first step toward establishing the proposed Ocean Energy Safety Institute, which would facilitate collaborative research and development, training and execution in these and other areas relating to offshore energy safety going forward. The Safety Committee will provide advice on how best to stand up the Institute, and on what role the Safety Committee should play in the Institute.
“The Offshore Energy Safety Advisory Committee will help us ensure that exploration and development on the Outer Continental Shelf is done safely and responsibly, and that our rules and regulations stay a step ahead of changing technologies and challenges,” said Secretary Salazar. “We are looking for the best minds from industry, academia and the scientific community to create a ‘center of excellence' that would help us address technological challenges and inherent risks associated with offshore drilling.”
“We are seeking our nation's top experts to serve on the Offshore Energy Safety Advisory Committee,” said BOEMRE Director Bromwich. “This group will serve as a the channel through which America's leading scientific, engineering and technical experts will be able to provide continuing contributions on strengthening safety in offshore energy exploration and development on the Outer Continental Shelf. They will help chart a research agenda and focus on the technical and regulatory challenges that lie ahead and how best to address them.”
Former Sandia National Laboratory Director Dr. Tom Hunter has been asked to chair the Committee, which will be comprised of representatives from industry, government, national laboratories, academia and NGOs. The Safety Committee will have two primary functions:
Identifying, prioritizing and defining research and development projects in the areas of drilling and workplace safety, containment, and oil spill response and allocating available resources to these projects as appropriate and;
Providing a venue for representatives from industry, government, non-governmental organizations, national laboratories, and the academic community to exchange information and ideas, share best practices, and develop cross-organizational expertise.