The agencies are seeking input on potential concepts and options, but not yet proposing specific changes to existing regulations. Specifically, they are looking for insights into the challenges and benefits of non-prescriptive, outcome-based approaches to reduce the frequency and severity of harmful events in the oil and gas industry.
"Prescriptive models, sometimes referred to as command and control regulation, generally prescribe precise requirements," according to a notice in the Federal Register. "Performance-based models, often referred to as outcome-based or market-based regulation, specify an outcome to be achieved without prescribing the specific requirements to reach that outcome."
Federal agencies that regulate the oil and gas sector currently use regulatory regimes that include both prescriptive and performance-based approaches. Regulatory requirements between the various agencies often differ, and the agency that has jurisdiction over an operation can vary by either type of operation or location; in some cases, jurisdiction may overlap.
Last year, President Obama issued an executive order calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability and reduce uncertainty. It requested that agencies review existing and proposed standards and regulations to ensure they effectively protect "public health, welfare, safety and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation."
A two-day meeting being held this month in Texas City, Texas, will allow speakers to address the current regulatory landscape and discuss possible changes. The agencies sponsoring the stakeholder meeting are exploring a number of topics that will help inform whether and how to further incorporate performance-based regulatory approaches into their current regulatory systems.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
September 24, 2012
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