“I am confident that the organization that we put in place will stand the test of time,” Salazar told The Hill in a short interview.
Salazar plans to depart when the Senate approves Sally Jewell, the White House nominee to replace him, a vote Salazar predicted will occur as soon as next week.
Thursday's rule from Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) expands on the 2010 Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) regulation.
James Watson, the Bureau’s director, called the new rule “another important step towards protecting workers and the environment from preventable accidents.”
“Offshore oil and gas safety starts with a robust positive safety culture, and BSEE's workplace safety rules are designed to promote that culture by eliminating complacency and making sure that companies are looking at the human factors that underlie too many accidents,” he said in a statement.
Companies must comply with most provisions in the so-called SEMS II rule by June 4, 2014.
“It provides greater protection by supplementing operators’ SEMS programs with greater employee participation, empowering field level personnel with safety management decisions, and strengthening oversight by requiring audits to be conducted by accredited third-parties,” a summary of the new requirements states.
New requirements include “stop work” authority that “authorizes any and all offshore industry personnel who witness an imminent risk or dangerous activity to stop work,” Interior said.
Other requirements are aimed at ensuring clear lines of authority on offshore facilities; new guidelines for reporting unsafe working conditions; “Requiring that the team lead for an audit be independent and represent an accredited audit service provider,” and several others, the agency said.
This post was updated at 11:09 a.m.