Rahall seeks information on deepwater drilling safeguards

The preventers failed to work in this instance obviously, as did other measures to prevent oil spills.

One article noted that the Minerals Management Service (MMS), a division of Interior, did not require the use of an acoustic switch to trigger the blow-out preventer. Another focused on whether “shear rams” that pinch the well close can operate effectively in high-pressure deepwater environments.

Rahall's letter request information relating to MMS’s decision not to require the acoustic switch and a 2004 study into the effectiveness of shear rams.