The creation in 2011 of a separate Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement in the Interior Department “significantly strengthened the federal government’s ability to effectively oversee industry” related to outer continental shelf resources, a study has said.

The National Academy of Public Administration reviewed the BSEE’s progress in meeting its mission of “ensuring that the nation’s offshore energy is effectively developed in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner,” as the report described it.

“BSEE’s establishment has helped ensure high levels of protection for worker safety and the environment and utilization of OCS resources in a manner that is in the best interests of the nation. BSEE’s creation also provides a strong foundation for improving what had previously been insufficient federal oversight of compliance monitoring (permitting and inspection), investigation and enforcement, and oil spill response preparedness,” it said.

The report made recommendations to build on “the achievements that BSEE has made thus far and increase the bureau’s functioning and sustainability.”