Monday, August 9, 2010

Bromwich to host oil spill forums in Gulf States

Michael R. Bromwich, Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEM) will hold two forums, one in Alabama, and the other in Florida to discuss deepwater drilling safety, containment, and spill response.

Bromwich will hold the first in a series of fact-finding forum in Mobile, Alabama on Tuesday, August 10 at 8:00 AM (local time) at the Renaissance Mobile Hotel - 26 North Royal Street. The second in Pensacola, Florida on Wednesday, August 11 at 8:00 AM (local time) at the New World Landing - 600 S. Palafox Street.

On June 15, 2010, President Obama designated Bromwich a 57-year-old litigation attorney as the first director over the newly created BOEM, which succeeds the beleaguered Minerals Management Service in the wake of scandals associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

In making the announcement Obama said, “For a decade or more, the cozy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency was allowed to go unchecked. That allowed drilling permits to be issued in exchange not for safety plans, but assurances of safety from oil companies. That cannot and will not happen anymore.”

Bromwich, a Fried Frank attorney has a history of overseeing troubled federal agencies. He was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and as Associate Counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel for Iran-Contra. Bromwich was one of three courtroom lawyers for the government in the case of the United States v. Oliver L. North.

He was an Inspector General for the Department of Justice from 1994 – 1999, where he headed an investigation into the FBI Laboratory, which affected the Investigation into the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

In 2002, he was Independent Monitor for the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia and in 2008; he was named by the Houston Police Department to investigate their crime lab.

Bromwich has setup the Gulf States forums to collect information and views about deepwater drilling safety reforms, well containment, and oil spill response. During the forums, a panel of experts from academia, the environmental community, and the oil and gas industry on technical issues related to deepwater drilling and workplace safety, well containment, and oil spill response will brief the new director.

The forums will also provide an opportunity for input from federal, state, and local leaders on these same issues.

The forums are open to the public and members of the public are encouraged to submit comments via forms provided at the forums, by mail or online.

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