Updates and News
Updated October 2, 2023
○ OCS-Related Rulemaking Project - September 12, 2023: The comment period for the OCS casualty reporting proposed rulemaking has been extended through November 13, 2023. Public participation (i.e., comments) is requested and encouraged.
This supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) applies to OCS facilities, mobile offshore drilling units and vessels that are conducting OCS activities. It was published in the Federal Register on June 14, 2023 and a supplemental notice was published on September 12, 2023, extending the comment period. The Coast Guard received several requests to extend the comment period where "requesters cited need for additional time to provide constructive responses to the SNRPM and a lack of awareness about the SNPRM among members of the affected industry as reasons for the requested extension".
"The Coast Guard views public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking."
Comment Period Extension:
The comment period for the supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking published June 14, 2023, (88 FR 38765) has been extended. Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before November 13, 2023. The extension notice was published as 88 FR 62491.
Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:
This SNPRM proposes changes to 33 CFR Parts 140 and 146 and 46 CFR Parts 4 and 109. The notice was published as 88 FR 38765 and this rulemaking is under Docket No. USCG-2013-1057.
"The Coast Guard proposes changing the reporting criteria for certain casualties that occur on foreign floating outer continental shelf (OCS) facilities (FOFs), mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs), and vessels engaged in OCS activities. In this supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM), the Coast Guard revises the approach described in the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published in 2014 and responds to public comments about the NPRM. The Coast Guard proposes this action to harmonize the casualty-reporting regimes that apply to foreign and U.S. FOFs, MODUs, and vessels engaged in OCS activities and to account for the changes in technology on the OCS, since the casualty-reporting regulations were originally published in 1982. In addition, in response to public comment on the 2014 NPRM, the Coast Guard proposes to raise the property damage dollar threshold that triggers a casualty report from $25,000 to $75,000 for fixed facilities on the OCS because the original regulation setting the property damage threshold amount was issued in the 1980s and has not since been updated. Through this SNRPM, the Coast Guard would update Coast Guard regulations to keep up with technology, improve awareness of accident trends on the OCS, improve safety on the OCS, and reduce the regulatory burden on operators of fixed OCS platforms."
○ New - October 2, 2023: Drill Down Issue #30 (last in the 8-part hazardous location electrical markings series) was released and explores degrees of protection (i.e., ingress protection). This edition and all previous issues are available on our Drill Down page.
Previous editions for the series on hazardous location electrical equipment markings include:
- Drill Down Issue #29 addressing certificate numbers and special symbols (7 of 8 in the hazardous location electrical markings series) was released on September 25, 2023.
- Drill Down Issue #28 on equipment protection levels (6 of 8 in the series) was released on September 18, 2023.
- Drill Down Issue #27 for temperature classes (5 of 8) was released on September 11, 2023.
- Drill Down Issue #26 for protection techniques (4 of 8) was released on September 4, 2023.
- Drill Down Issue #25 on material groups (3 of 8) was released on August 28, 2023.
- Drill Down Issue #24 for location classification (2 of 8) was released on August 21, 2023.
- Drill Down Issue #23 addressing the standards related to U.S. Coast Guard oversight of electrical equipment installed in hazardous locations (1 of 8) was released on August 14, 2023.
○ New - September 29, 2023: The "2024 editions" of the OCSNCOE-developed MODU Codes (1979, 1989 and 2009) were updated to include the 2023 amendments that go into effect on January 1, 2024. These amendments address asbestos prohibition for new installation of materials and the unified interpretation for the implementation of the same.
○ New - September 5, 2023: The U.S. Coast Guard District 1 Prevention Division (dp) released D1(dp) Policy Letter 01-2023, Use of Dynamic Positioning (DP) by Offshore Supply Vessels (OSVs) Conducting Oil and HAZMAT Transfers in Support of Alternative Energy on the Outer Continental Shelf. The policy is also accessible under the D1 Policy "tab" on the Support Vessel Regulatory Guidance page.
○ New - August 29, 2023: The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance (CG-CVC) released a new work instruction: CG-CVC Policy Letter 23-01, Guidance for Vessel Requests to Participate in Hurricane Relief Operations (policy expires 31Jan2024).
Recent news and information -
○ August 10, 2023: Drill Down Issue #22, addressing the effects of portable accommodation modules or independent tanks to a vessel's tonnage, was released.
○ August 8, 2023: The office of Design and Engineering Standards (CG-ENG) released CG-ENG Policy Letter 02-23, USCG Acceptance of IMO Guidelines for Hydrostatic Testing of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Cylinders Associated with Fixed Gas Fire Extinguishing Systems on August 2, 2023. The policy letter and the referenced IMO Circular (MSC.1/Circ.1348/Rev.1) are available on the regulations, policy and guidance pages for MODUs, support vessels and floating OCS facilities.
○ August 4, 2023: D8(ocs) Policy Letter 02-2016 for Structural Integrity Management (SIM) Program for floating OCS facilities (FOFs) was cancelled by D8(do) Memorandum OCS-23040 dated 03Aug2023.
○ July 10, 2023: The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance (CG-CVC) released a new work instruction: CVC-WI-033(1), Non-Vessel Floating OCS Facilities (FOF) - Compliance Requirements. "This work instruction provides policy to Coast Guard Officers In Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMIs) for the inspection of Floating OCS Facilities (FOFs) determined not to be vessels as defined in 1 U.S.C. § 3." The WI updates the guidance that was published in Chapter 4 of COMDTINST (CI) 16000.76 (i.e., MSM Volume II, Section G) that is applicable to non-vessel FOFs. Section L of the WI contains "regulatory clarification" and the much-anticipated guidance related to hull structure and inspection (i.e., In-Service Inspection Plan (ISIP)). Additional highlights include float-free liferaft arrangements and USCG involvement in service life extensions.
○ July 3, 2023: Report of Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Capsizing of the Liftboat SEACOR POWER Approximately 7 Nautical Miles South of Port Fourchon, LA in the Gulf of Mexico Resulting in the Loss of 13 Lives on April 13, 2021. Additional reports for OCS-related casualty investigations are available under the USCG Investigations tab on our OCS Accidents, Investigations and Safety Information page.
○ Jun 26, 2023: The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance (CG-CVC) released a new work instruction that serves as national-level guidance for multi-certificated vessels. CVC-WI-032(1) cancels D8 Policy Letter 09-2001 and incorporates the policy letter as Enclosure (1) to the work instruction. The work instruction "provides policy regarding the certification of vessels that perform operations and services under multiple inspection subchapters in Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)".
○ Floating OCS Facility (FOF) Policy Updates -
July 10, 2023: The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance (CG-CVC) released a new work instruction: CVC-WI-033(1), Non-Vessel Floating OCS Facilities (FOF) - Compliance Requirements. "This work instruction provides policy to Coast Guard Officers In Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMIs) for the inspection of Floating OCS Facilities (FOFs) determined not to be vessels as defined in 1 U.S.C. § 3."
February 10, 2022: Guidance Documents, Oversight and Manning Requirements for Floating OCS Facilities (FOFs) were published via Federal Register 87 FR 7716, Docket No. USCG-2020-0049. This FR announces the release and discusses policies related to Floating OCS Facilities, CG-OES Policy Letter 01-22 and CG-MMC Policy Letter 01-22. These policies are also available on the National Policy tab of the FOF Regulatory Guidance page. MMC PL 01-22 cancels D8 PL 08-2001. Readers are encouraged to review the FR notice in conjunction with the policy letters for additional, explanatory information related to these policy changes.
April 13, 2022: Questions by the Offshore Operators Committee and their membership related CG-OES Policy Letter 01-22 and CG-MMC Policy Letter 01-22 regarding changes in Coast Guard policy/oversight of floating OCS facilities and the answers provided by the Coast Guard have been posted to the FOF FAQs page. A pdf document of the questions and answers is available here.
May 4, 2022: D8 OCS Policy Letter 01-2022, Verification of Training and Drills for Personnel Assigned Special or Emergency Duties on Floating Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Facilities (FOFs), was issued on May 3, 2022 and cancels D8 Policy Letter 03-2000, CH-1, Policy on Manning of Non-Self-Propelled Floating Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Facilities.
June 2, 2022: Added clarification to FAQ #30 related to CG-MMC Policy Letter 01-22 and the chemical testing requirements for an individual voluntarily holding a MMC while serving on a floating OCS facility. See the FAQ on the FOF FAQs page for additional information.
○ Casualty Investigations -
July 3, 2023: Report of Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Capsizing of the Liftboat SEACOR POWER Approximately 7 Nautical Miles South of Port Fourchon, LA in the Gulf of Mexico Resulting in the Loss of 13 Lives on April 13, 2021.
December 21, 2021: Report of Investigation into Shell AUGER TLP Lifeboat No. 6 Inadvertent Hook Opening with Loss of Life and Injury at Garden Banks 426 on the U.S. OCS in the Gulf of Mexico. View the AUGER LB 6 page for information related to this incident. See the Investigation Recommendations tab on the AUGER LB 6 page for a ready reference to the ROI recommendations and District Commander's endorsement of the same. Additional information such as timelines that detail the accident and maintenance events for the Lifeboat No. 6 casualty and the USCG testing report for the Schat-Harding LHR 3.5M2 release mechanism (Enclosure (2) to the Report of Investigation) are available on the AUGER LB 6 page.